Guest Post~Debut Author Jennifer McQuiston ~ Giveaway

Look who's visiting Forever Book Lover today, none other than Jennifer McQuiston, the debut author of What Happens in Scotland.  I absolutely loved her debut book and couldn't wait to ask Jennifer to visit.  Jennifer's stopping by to discuss beards, you heard me, beards.

Beards in Historical Romance: Where is the Love?
By Debut Romance Author Jennifer McQuiston, 
What Happens in Scotland

Thank you so much for having me on today! And I am especially excited to be here talking about what just might be the most undiscussed topic in historical romance: Beards.

Or rather, the lack thereof.

During my formative years—let’s generously call them the eighties and early nineties—beards weren’t cool. That doesn’t mean they aren’t cool now. Today’s hipster generation, with their “in your face” profusion of facial hair, is a notable indication the beard is becoming more mainstream, at least in educated and artistic cultures.

And yet… my forty-year-old cougar tendencies aside… I am still not sure about them.

Don’t get me wrong—I don’t dislike beards. I would characterize my reaction to beards as ambivalent, more than anything else. But, like many of us, I cut my teeth on historical romance, and this genre of fiction clearly establishes the following as an irrefutable rule: Romance heroes do not have beards.
Let me repeat that.

Romance heroes. Do NOT. Have beards.

Don’t believe me? Pull twenty random historical romances off your keeper shelf and thumb through them until you come to the description of the hero. Black-haired or blond, tall or muscular, I would wager good money that 9 times out of 10, the hero is clean-shaven, despite the fact that (at least for the Victorian era in which I write), men very often had facial hair: copious, hysterical, unhygienic amounts of it.
Nope! No Beards Here!
That isn’t to say these romance heroes couldn’t grow a beard. Many of the heroes in my “keeper” books display five-o-clock shadows that cry out for the ministrations of a valet or barber, suggesting they at least possess the capacity to have a beard. And the scientist in me argues that the lack of beards in historical romance is counter-intuitive. Biology suggests that this secondary sexual characteristic is one evolutionary trait that promotes attractiveness, as it is an outward sign of fitness as a mate.

What’s Not to Love Ladies? Victorian Hotties had beards!
Unfortunately, despite the recommendation of science, romance heroines do not seem interested in Darwinian theories of mate selection (and it should be noted that the decidedly unromantic Darwin sported a beard that would have put my grandfather to shame.)

Perhaps an Argument Against Beards…

No, romance heroines apparently want heroes who are simultaneously sympathetic and strong, nurturing and powerful. 

In short: they want a man who CAN grow a beard, but who chooses not to.

In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (Act II), the shrewish Beatrice says:  “Lord, I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woolen…”  When Leonato suggests that perhaps she could find a husband without a beard, she then goes on to admit she is a tad conflicted about the whole thing: What should I do with him? Dress him in my apparel and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.”

Which really brings us ‘round full circle.

Beards: you either hate them…or you don’t yet realize you want them.

When I penned my debut historical romance, What Happens in Scotland, I really didn’t think much about the fact I gave my hero a beard. After all, I had also given James Mackenzie a legitimate reason to have his beard: he is the historical equivalent of a hipster, a self-made man who eschews the customs of his aristocratic father. The beard is but an outward example of his inward angst.

Like all good romance heroines, Lady Georgette Thorold isn’t too sure about her first glimpse of James’s beard either. Of course, given that she can’t remember a thing she did last night, her lack of appreciation for the naked, bearded man in her bed could perhaps be understood!

Evidence of her bed partner’s own state of disarray peeked out from beneath the covers, hinting at their interactions of the previous evening. A muscled calf, scattered with a dusting of dark hair, flexed alarmingly. The sheets shifted as he turned over, revealing a head of brown hair. He sported a full beard that no young man in London would have suffered without a wager first being laid down, but it did not hide the Patrician slope of his nose or the sensual slide of his lips. In sleep, his face looked peaceful. Appealing in a masculine sort of way.
And terrifyingly unfamiliar.
“Dear God, what have I done?” she whispered. Clasping the shirt tighter against her body, she picked her way closer and studied his features, trying to jog her memory for some hint of what he meant to her, or she to him. He looked to be in his early thirties. His hair showed a tendency to curl at the edges, and the brightening light of dawn caught the glint of red in his dark beard. His eyelashes lay like a smudge against his lightly weathered cheek, making Georgette’s pale, pampered skin feel insipid by comparison. No slice of recognition accompanied her perusal, though standing this close to him brought a rush of heat to her limbs.  
“Please, please, at least be a gentleman,” she muttered, trying to decide if the sleeping man looked more like a footman or a peer. The shirt she held against her was of fine cotton lawn. But most gentlemen of her acquaintance weren’t quite so… muscled.

Of course, one would never know from looking at my stepback art that James Mackenzie has a beard. (Not that I object to the choice of cover model… wow!) But wouldn’t he look just as manly with a little bit of a beard? Or even a 3-day stubble?

Now that you’ve seen Georgette’s initial reaction to her hero’s beard, I would love to hear reader’s thoughts on the subject. Love them? Hate them?


I suspect many of us fall in that third category.

And that is just the way we like it.

Jennifer McQuiston writes lively historical romance set in the decidedly beard-friendly Victorian era. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her beardless husband and two children. A scientist by training (and, in fact, married to an evolutionary biologist) Jennifer admits she is a fan of Darwin’s theories, even if she is not a fan of the man’s atrocious beard.
To celebrate her debut release, Jennifer will be giving away either a hard or e-reader copy of What Happens in Scotland to one random commenter. .   Good luck and thanks for stopping by!!

Tell us, do you prefer a man with facial hair:mustache or beard or not?

Please remember to leave your email or we don't have a way of getting in touch with you.

And for those of you who find themselves haggis-curious, she will throw in a bag of these Haggis-flavored potato crisps, in celebration of all things Scottish!  

Caleb by Emma Lang ~ Interview and Review & Giveaway

BETH WILLIAMSON’S  Month of Cowboy lovin’  BLOG TOUR,

February 1 – February 28

Circle Eight: Caleb
by Emma Lang (Beth Williamson)
Release date: Feb. 12!

Lucky me.. Today I get to welcome Beth Williamson (who also writes under the name of Emma Lang). I was honored when she asked me to help promote her latest release in The Circle of Eight _ Caleb.  You are in for a treat today!!

Here's the best part, to keep spreadin' the cowboy lovin' ~ one lucky commenter can get their own ebookcopy of Caleb.  Just leave a comment below along with your  e-mail address or I won't know how to contact you. Giveaway is International along as you can accept e-books and ends March 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.

Thanks for stopping by!!
FBL♥: How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?
I’ve always been a huge fan of westerns from the time I was a little girl watching those awesome Clint Eastwood movies. I’m also a huge history buff, so the first time I read a western romance back in the 70s (one of mom’s Harlequins!), I was totally hooked! I knew that’s what I wanted to write. Cowboys are like modern day knights to me – they have a code of honor, are hard as hell, and handy with a weapon.

FBL♥:What kind of research did you do for this book?
Because I hadn't written anything in the era of the Republic of Texas, I had to do a lot of research. I read books, did a lot of searching online, and made sure every detail was historically accurate. From what they ate to what they wore to the cities and historical events.

FBL♥:What do you think is the greatest creative risk you've taken in this book?
I usually let the book tell itself and the characters to drive the plot forward. I’m a pantster, although I did plot this book, it took its own path, as my books generally do. However, this book and the plot did not lend itself to a lot of heated sex. Yes it’s there, but not like in BRODY, where the passion between the characters was explosive and combustible. Caleb and Aurora had a different story and I listened to them. In the end, the sex was secondary to the action-packed plot and the danger that drove them forward.

FBL♥:What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I think because it was the hardest, the escape from the Garza hacienda has to be my favorite chapter. It’s intense, bloody, sweaty and it made my stomach clench the entire time. Then in the end, when Caleb kisses Aurora, who professes her sweaty state, it’s so genuine, it made my eyes sting and my heart thump.

FBL♥:Do you write detailed character profiles before writing, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?
Each character comes to life before I start writing. I give them a name, a birthdate, a favorite food, an item that’s their kryptonite, and a backstory. I don’t think it’s detailed but I know who they are before I start. Then I smack them together with their perfect mate and wait for the fireworks. J

FBL♥:You have the sexiest cowboys for your book covers! Can you tell us how the process works in selecting these gorgeous men for your cover?
I wish I could take credit for the beautiful covers, but alas, the cover artists are the geniuses. I do work with my publishers to describe my vision but in the end, they have final say. However the self-pubbed covers are under my control and I love, love, love the way CALEB’s cover came out.

FBL♥:If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Ha! Love this question. Hm, probably something like “In Search of the Perfect Moment”. Every book is a quest for me and I put my heart and soul into it.

FBL♥:Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I think every writer puts something of real life into their books, but not true experiences. More the flavor of what they see and experience. My imagination does tend to take over and drive me, even when I sleep.

FBL♥:How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I don’t have a magic eight ball that guides me, but I do the best I can to get the word out. I work with Romantic Times magazine, online blogs, Twitter and Facebook. I also have an amazing personal assistant who has helped me form a fabulous street team who help me both in book stores and libraries as well as online.

FBL♥:Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Yes, there is one book I wrote last year that has not yet been picked up for publication. It’s a mash up book – paranormal and western. I’ve got my fingers crossed it’s going to get an offer soon. If not, there is always the self-pub route.

FBL♥:Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has taken a chance on me and read one of my books. I write for people to read and enjoy the story as much as I do. So a big thank you for taking my hand and embarking on that journey with me.
Caleb Graham was introduced in the first book in The Circle of Eight: Matthew and then again in  Brody's story. I recommend you reading the series in order.

There were two subplots in this book, first the story of Caleb and Aurora and the second is the continuing family search for their missing brother, Benjy. I could just picture how the author had this laid out in order for the two to intertwine.

The story of Caleb and Aurora was enjoyable and had me chuckle now and then. Poor Caleb finds himself  with toughest assignment he has ever  faced as a Ranger: having to evict a blacksmith from the only home they had known.  Seems simple enough, well until Caleb learns that Rory is actually Aurora, a feisty  hammer swinging, no hold bar woman.  She has a trashy mouth and for some they may find that vulgar, but for some reason it was needed for the character. 

If you haven't read the first two books, I am not going to share too much of Benjy, the missing brother. I will say that with him missing for so long, I think I was expecting more of an outpour of emotion to be displayed. This was a trauma to the entire Graham's family foundation and his discovery was like another day at the farm. Nevertheless, this was an another great edition to The Circle of Eight series, and I can't wait to see what else is in story for the family...

If I didn't say this before, the hunks on the cover of The Circle of Eight series are the sexiest, cowboys!! So if the cover caught your eye, just know that what you find inside the cover is just a yummy!!

Beth Williamson, who also writes as Emma Lang, is an award-winning, bestselling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her books range from sensual to scorching hot. She is a Career Achievement Award Nominee in Erotic Romance by Romantic Times Magazine, in both 2009 and 2010.

Beth has always been a dreamer, never able to escape her imagination. It led her to the craft of writing romance novels. She’s passionate about purple, books, and her family. She has a weakness for shoes and purses, as well as bookstores. Her path in life has taken several right turns, but she’s been with the man of her dreams for more than 20 years.

Beth works full-time and writes romance novels evening, weekends, early mornings and whenever there is a break in the madness. She is compassionate, funny, a bit reserved at times, tenacious and a little quirky. Her cowboys and western romances speak of a bygone era, bringing her readers to an age where men were honest, hard and packing heat. For a change of pace, she also dives into some smokin’ hot contemporaries, bringing you heat, romance and snappy dialogue.

Life might be chaotic, as life usually is, but Beth always keeps a smile on her face, a song in her heart, and a cowboy on her mind. ;)

One winner will get an ebook copy of Caleb.  I will randomly pull one commenter who answers the question below... 

Just leave a comment below along with your  e-mail address or I won't know how to contact you. Giveaway is International along as you can accept e-books and ends March 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.

You must  leave your email address.

For those who love Cowboy Romances, 
Name an author & tiltle of a good Western Romance book....

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright
by Tessa Dare
Published December 11th 2012 by Avon Impulse
ISBN: 0062271369 (ISBN13: 9780062271365)

Review courtesy of edelweiss (Originally appeared in the e-book anthology Three Weddings and a Murder.)
Miss Eliza Cade is a lady in waiting. And waiting.

Because of a foolish mistake in her youth, she's not allowed "out" in Society until her three older sisters are wed. But while she's trying to be good, she keeps bumping elbows—and, more distressingly, lips—with notorious rake Harry Wright. Every moment she spends with him, she risks complete ruin.

The sensual passions he stirs in her are so wrong . . . but Eliza just can't resist Mr. Wright.

My Thoughts:
This was a quick, fun and laugh out loud read. It was about 144 pages. Great book to curl up with during these long winter months. Isn't the gown on the cover just breathtaking... I just love that color PINK!!

It may have been a novella, but Tessa Dare gave you a beginning, a climax and an end worthy of any long length novel.  I liked the layout of the chapters, our hero and heroine bump into one another over the course of this book. With each interaction, their friendship and love blossoms. It was not a "love at first sight" romance book, honestly our hero despised of our hero from the beginning..   I the ending was just what a romance junkie would love to see, a beautiful and warming HEA. I enjoyed this wonderful tale.

My Rating

Brody~(Circle of Eight #2) by Emma Lang

Brody (Circle Eight #2)
by Emma Lang
Published July 2012 by Kensington Brava

review courtesy of Author

A year after their family was brutally torn apart, the Graham siblings begin to put their lives back together at their ranch in East Texas. With their parents gone, their bonds will truly be tested… Olivia Graham has worked hard to take care of her family at the Circle Eight Ranch. But their family circle was broken when their young brother Benjy disappeared. Liv can’t shake the feeling that he must be out there, somewhere.

Brody Armstrong, a handsome but rough-around-the-edges Texas Ranger, has been working on their case for months, and now he has a promising lead.

As Liv follows him across the rugged Texas landscape and into Mexico, she’ll begin to find the answers she needs—as Brody finds a passion he didn’t know he wanted…

My Thoughts:
This is the second in The Circle of Eight series, I recommend you read each one in order so you can follow the Graham family's story. If you haven't read the first in the series, I am worried that I will reveal to much in this one... so fair warning this may contain **Spoilers**..

The Graham family is still trying to rebound from the tragic deaths of their parents and the kidnapping of their youngest brother, Benjy.  Brody is a Texas Ranger helping them with the investigation.  Oliva, is the oldest sister and has taken the loss of Benjy personally. When a new clue in the investigation is discovered, Olivia is determined and adamant that is going with him.

Wheww!!  Talk about heating up the pages, Brody does that and more..  who wouldn't love a man with broad shoulders, skinny waist who looks yummy in tight jeans??... Olivia, is a strong willed, no holds bar woman who doesn't take no for an answer.  These two argue, banter and their chemistry is a slow sizzle waiting to explode. The more they fight the more their sexual tension builds and builds to the point ... the final combustion quite explosive!

This story is darker than the first. Brody and Olivia are drawn into a very dangerous adventure.  It kept me on pins and needles wondering what will happen next and how this will all play out in the end..
This is a very intense book and I loved every page of it...  If you want to know if the Benjy finds his way home, don't miss this latest installment in The Circle of Eight...

I can't wait to see what is next for the Graham family... Emma Lang has spun a tale of strong family ties that is unbreakable. 

My Rating:

                                                                    Get your copy today!

Tame a Wild Heart Giveaway Winners.....

Congratulations to the following winners......

Tame A Wild Heart by Cynthia Woolf

Mary Preston- Copy of any of Cynthia's Books


Sandra Kerns- $5 Starbucks Card

You have 48 hours to reply or I'll have to pick a new winner.

Thank you for everyone who stopped by and commented. I would love to see you back.. I plan on having a few more giveaways coming up in the next few days...

Guest Post, Review and Giveaway ~Tame A Wild Heart by Cynthia Woolf

Tame A Wild Heart
by Cynthia Woolf
Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 16th 2011
ISBN: 0983937214 (ISBN13: 9780983937210)

review courtesy of Author 
He's not her brother, but Duncan thinks Catherine sure needs one. A woman has no business trying to run a ranch. Not in 1880s Creede, Colorado. Even though she's loved him forever, she swears she doesn't need his help, but in between stampedes, fires and a kidnapping, the ex-bounty hunter and gunslinger becomes determined to do more than protect the ranch. Working together to catch a dangerous outlaw might just be the best thing that ever happened to them both.
This story was filled with all those things that I love to find in a good western romance book: captivating plot, suspense, passion, strong family ties and tough as nails heroine and those tough, loyal and sexy cowboy!!

Duncan was perfect to take on the strong willed Cat. Duncan has had enough with being a bounty hunter and he is ready to go back to the only home he has known. Cat and Duncan have a past, but little was uncovered to let the reader know the intensity of the relationship. It was funny to read that Duncan, kept saying that Cat's father, James was his best friend.  It tend to make me think there was a huge age gap between Cat and Duncan, which wasn't the case.

The ranch has been dealing with mishaps, as the story unfolds we find there are two villians one after the ranch and one after Duncan. I was able to keep pace but there were a few times I had to go back and re-read some sections as there were some parts with sudden changes in subject and sharp transitions. Overall, I very impressed with the writing skills of Cynthia Woolf and the storyline overall.

I love the secondary characters, would like to see Cassie's story and that is the next book in the Wild Series, Tame A Wild Wind (Wild, #2).  If you love a good romance western with just enough spice and drama, pick this one up, you won't regret it.

Lost in the Wild West
by Cynthia Woolf

Settling the American West was neither glamorous or romantic for most of the people who came here. I live in Colorado. Part and parcel of the American West and this is where I’ve set my stories. For this blog I’m talking about the prairie in the areas East of the Rocky Mountains.

Imagine, if you will, traveling for months to get somewhere. Living in the wagon that you are traveling in for those months. The wagon carries everything you own. Your furniture, your clothes, your food. Kind of like a motor home without all the built in amenities, like running water and a bathroom.

Imagine having finally gotten to the piece of land that you bought. It’s vacant. No house. No well. Nothing but weeds, prairie dogs and if you got a really good piece lots of trees and a stream. You’re going to need them. You build your house, usually a one room house, made of logs with mud in between to try and keep out the dust and the cold.

Inside you have a kitchen with a stove and some shelves on one wall. There’s a fireplace in the center of the longest wall across from the door and the bed is opposite the kitchen. The children, if you have them and most likely you do, sleep on the floor on mats.

You have to gather buffalo chips to burn in the fireplace because there’s not enough trees to burn and build with. Buffalo chips are dung. Dried buffalo dung. You’re burning this to keep warm and to cook with. Can you imagine the smell in your house?

Imagine wash day. You take your beautiful, colorful clothes and go to the stream and beat them with a stick against the rocks until they are clean. This is hard on the material so it wears out and you patch it because it’s too expensive to get new material and make new clothes. Of course, if you’re lucky, you have tubs and you heat water on the stove until it’s boiling, add your clothes and chips of lye soap. Stir with a stick until it’s clean. Wring them out with your hands, the water still two hot, but your hands are so chapped that you hardly notice the pain any longer.

I’m just getting started. Life was hard and those people who chose that life were heroes. Without them our frontiers would still be wild and unsettled. But that’s not the stories that we like to read about. So we glamorize our western romances. Our heroes are always handsome, our heroines always beautiful and rarely do they have to get their hands dirty. I can’t imagine my heroine going out and gathering buffalo poop to burn in her fireplace.

I’ve set my stories in the mountains where there was enough timber for houses, barns and fires. I’ve given them just enough history to set the scenes without overwhelming with detail. The reason for this is because the detail isn’t romantic. Our imaginations are.

Cynthia loves to do giveaways... For this blog, she'll do two giveaways.  One winner will get a $5 Starbucks card and one winner will get a copy of any of my books, in any format they desire including paperback.  You heard her, two lucky winners this time.  

Let's make this easy, I will randomly pull two commenters who answer the question below... Remember to leave your email address.

What one 20th Century luxury/item would you miss if you lived in the Wild Wild West?

Matthew (Circle Eight #1) by Emma Lang

Matthew (Circle Eight #1)
by Emma Lang
Published February 1st 2012 by Brava

review courtesy of the author

A man learns to hold what is his

It is a vast spread in the eastern wilds of the newly independent Republic of Texas, the ranch their parents fought for … and died for. To the eight Graham siblings, no matter how much hard work or hard love it takes, life is unthinkable without family…

In the wake of his parents’ murder, Matthew Graham must take the reins at the Circle Eight. He also needs to find a wife in just thirty days, or risk losing it all. Plain but practical, Hannah Foley seems the perfect bride for him . . . until after the wedding night.

Their marriage may make all the sense in the world, but neither one anticipates the jealousies that will result, the treacherous danger they’re walking into, or the wildfire of attraction that will sweep over them, changing their lives forever.

My Thoughts
This is the first book in an exciting new series,  about the Graham siblings. This book pulled my heartstrings right from the start.

The siblings return home to a devastating tragedy and their whole world changes in one afternoon. Matthew is the oldest of the Graham's siblings, his heart ached at being thrusted into the role of parent at such a young age, but his family was everything to him. He must marry to be able to claim the acreages to secure his family's well being, when asked what his wife's name was ~ he said "Hannah"..With the clock ticking, he has 30 days to find a woman named Hannah, marry her and return for his land...  There were parts that seemed just to fall in place or just a little too ironic, he is looking for a girl named Hannah and *Poof*, he  bumps into a woman at a local merchant, anyone want to guess her name.."Hannah". 

Each have their own reason for the sudden/pretend marriage... Can true love bloom from this hasty marriage? Will they find the courage, determination and hope to recover from the family's devastating tragedy ... I love the discovery of their love, the way the family held strong throughout the early stages of rebuilding their family.  It was heartwarming to watch this family perseveres against all odds, by working together with others and have support from family and friends.

Ms. Lang gave us a wonderful start to what is going to be a wonderful series. She gave us a glimpse of each sibling, just enough to spark your interest and leaving you wanting more... Bravo, can't wait for more. I almost feel embarrassed to mention this but this cover is one of the hottest covers I have seen in a while.  I began calling Matthem- Mr. McSteamy. Just when I didn't think they could find a sexier man, I got a glimpse of Brody's cover. Hello Mr. McHottie!!

My Rating:

The Chieftain by Margaret Mallory

The Chieftain (Return of the Highlanders #4)
by Margaret Mallory
Published: February 26th 2013 by Forever
ISBN:0446583111 (ISBN13: 9780446583114)

review courtesy of Author and Publisher

Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.

A Warrior's Heart
Connor, chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat, holds the fate of his people in his hands. Rival clans are plotting to take over his lands, and duty determines whom he will fight, trust . . . even marry. Seeking guidance, Connor turns to Ilysa, a young lass with the gift of foresight, who reveals an approaching danger-and a passion that burns only for him. But the warrior must make a powerful marriage alliance, and Ilysa's bloodline is far too humble.

With her powers to heal and see evil where others cannot, beautiful Ilysa dresses plainly, speaks softly, and loves her chieftain from afar. Yet when Connor finally stokes the embers of desire that have so long burned within her, Ilysa feels bliss unlike any she's ever known. Now as he is forced to place duty before happiness, Ilysa senses Connor is in grave peril. Can she find a way to prove she is the woman he needs by his side?
My Thoughts
I couldn't think of a better ending to the series, than The Chieftain. For those of us who are who followed this lovely series, both Connor and Ilysa have been popping up in each book. And I for one couldn't have been happier that Connor finally realizes that Ilysa is his soul mate, although I could have hit a frying pan over his head if he took any longer..  LOL

Behind every Chieftain is the perfect lass....

In this final book, the author brings us into the mind of Connor where we learn about his mother and her untimely death. We also learn more about the relationship he had with his father. Connor wasn't the next in line to be Chieftain, but regardless he will do whatever it takes to keep his clan safe and prospering.  Even if that means getting married for the good of his clan, letting true love and happiness take a back seat.  Sometimes you don't have to look to far to find your true love... Open your eyes and your heart and you may find they were right in front of your eyes all the time.

This was a fast paced, easy read.. I am not going to go scene by scene not even the smallest remarks on what  transpires in the book, nope, you have to read this one... it was worth waiting for... and I can only hope that Ms Mallory quickly pens another book, even a series so I can read her wonderful work again.

"I love ye with all my heart." "Your're part of me, and I am part of you. We are two halves of one whole"
"I pledge my sword, my body and my heart... .... You are everything I ever longed for and every woman I will ever need."

Until we read again, Ms. Mallory.... for those who love those men in kilts and those women who know what's best even if they don't.  Have Fun Reading..

My Rating

Pick you your copy today!!

return of the highlanders
Available Now!
the guardian
ISBN 13 : 978-0-446-57516-4
Available Now!
the sinner
ISBN 13 : 978-0-446-58310-7
Available Now!
the warrior
ISBN 13 : 978-0-446-58309-1

Feb 26, 2013
Margaret Mallory's The Chieftain
ISBN 13 : 978-0-446-58311-4

Book Tour ~Highland Defiance by Sky Purington~ Promo, Excerpt and Review

Welcome, it is FBL's turn to host Sky Purington as she travels from blog to blog promoting her latest release Highland Defiance.  Click here for other stops she is making..

Highland Defiance
The MacLomain Series- Early Years
by Sky Purington
Genre: Time-Travel Romance
Number of pages: 125 pages
Cover Artist: Tamra Westberry

Mildred, a young woman living in New England during the onset of World War II, worries about her family. What is to come? How will life change? Little does she anticipate change is to come not from war, but from an unexpected trip back in time to medieval Scotland.
Adlin, Chieftain of the MacLomain clan, will never forget the moment he lays eyes on her. Though he rules one of the most powerful clans in Scotland, Mildred redefines the man he thought he was. Her quick wit and perseverance humble his natural arrogance. Her sensuality cripples his defenses.

The maddened determination of a rival chieftain threatens their very existence. Caught together in time, they must find a way to evade the mighty MacLeods and keep peace in the Highlands. But lust, rage, and potential war simmer on the edge of their every move.
Will Mildred and Adlin find true love despite the odds? Find out in HIGHLAND DEFIANCE.

Stories from the original, MacLomain Series, include The King's Druidess (Prelude), Fate's Monolith (Book I), Destiny's Denial (Book II) and Sylvan Mist (Book III). Also available in The MacLomain Series Boxed Set (Books 1-4)
I can handle this. I have to handle this! A dream is a dream after all; no matter if she thought she was going to work. No matter if she wondered at her sanity. So she decided to crack one eye open at a time.

Piece by piece, the man in front of her appeared.

He grinned. “Quite handsome, aren’t I?”

Her eyes popped open. Handsome? Extremely! His black hair was tousled, his startling light blue eyes merry, his chiseled face astounding.

“No,” she said automatically and buried her head again.

“Oh.” He plunked down beside her. “’Tis a thing sometimes, the shock of my good appearance.”

Mildred breathed deeply and hid her grin. Arrogant. But she couldn’t help but enjoy this dream. It was the first of its kind. She peeked out from beneath her arm and said, “You’re awfully full of yourself.”

“Nay.” He looked ahead and shook his head. “I stopped being that way years ago.”

Still from beneath her arm. “Being full of yourself?”

“Aye.” He leaned back and stretched out his legs. “Turns out the lassies dinnae like it.”

Mildred lifted her head slightly. “Why not? I find it rather becoming.”

“You would.”

“I would?”

“Of course.”

“Why is that?”

“Because you’re arrogant too.”

She sat up straighter. “Am not.”

“Are too.” He titled back his head. “Do you feel that?”

“What?” But she already did. A cool wind blew through the forest and brushed her cheek. For the first time since she’d arrived, Mildred looked around. There existed no steel mill looming in the distance waiting for her to make parts for planes created for war. There existed no stream of people trudging into a plant determined to do their job.

Her friends and siblings had vanished.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

Her eyes darted to the man beside her then back at the forest. “Yes, but I don’t understand.”

“Cannae you be happy with what is in front of you?”

She heard his accent and saw the forest and shook her head. “No, I can’t.”

“Too bad.” He jumped to his feet and held down his hand. “M’lady.”

Mildred looked up, still barely familiar with everything and shook her head. “No.”

He ignored her and pulled her to her feet. Stunned, she looked up…and up. It was then that she truly realized the stature of the man talking to her. With shoulders easil
y twice as wide as hers, a height at least eight inches taller and a frame rippled with muscles, he was overwhelming.

Her eyes drifted over his face. That face. One she’d dreamed of since she’d been a little girl. Perfectly proportioned, with a straight nose, square chin, and straight brows, it’d always been overly alluring.

And those the clearest blue sky sharpened by sunlight.

“Well, what about my attire?”

Her eyes rounded. Yes, his attire was… amazing.

“You’re wearing a…” She glanced away and cinched her lips before looking at him again, brows up. “You’re wearing a skirt.” Mildred paused a minute to get her bearings in front of such a good looking fellow. But things must be said so she gathered her courage and looked him dead in the eye. “Are you aware that you wear a skirt?”

With a shocked look, he peered down and said, “It appears that I am!”

Mildred breathed deeply through her nostrils and nodded solemnly. “So I’m the first to tell you.”

He looked to the sky for guidance then into her eyes. “It seems you are.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that but honestly it’ll get you in trouble, even in my dream.”
Highland Defiance is first book in a new novella series by Sky Purington. Each novella will feature the characters from The MacLomain Series, each book will spotlight those who never had their love stories told in detail.  I will be honest and tell you that what attracted me to this book was that it combined two of my favorite things: brawny and sexy highlanders and time travel. How could I go wrong. 
I couldn't say that this is a stand alone as it mentions characters the MacLomain Series and including The Kings Druidess. However, I was able to keep pace and not feel lost. This is a first time for me reading Sky's work. Sky wrote a story filled of magic and romance, she puts a pinch of brawny sexy highlander, a dash of the 20th century woman, a smidgen of witchcraft and stirred in some time travel and created a romance where true love prevailed. 

Sky is the best-selling author of seven novels and several novellas. A New Englander born and bred, Sky was raised hearing stories of folklore, myth and legend. When combined with a love for nature, romance and time-travel, elements from the stories of her youth found release in her books. Readers have described her work as "Refreshing" and "Unforgettable."

Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted here: Email. Interested in keeping up with Sky's latest news and releases?

Visit Sky's Website, to download her free App on iTunes and Android.

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