She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and adult children who move in and out with alarming regularity. Add three rescue dogs and the household is complete—and full. She enjoys hearing from her readers, and would love to have you visit her.
The Highlander’s Choice
As an historical romance author, a big part of my job is research. Of course if you’re writing any genre, research will be involved. But with many readers quite savvy on what was, and was not, done or used in the past, the historical author has more of a challenge.
Since I was a History major in college, research for me falls into the category of ‘fun.’ My biggest hurdle is how lost I become in history when I’m researching. Stories of battles won and lost, nations conquered, and all the usual stuff you get in high school history held no interest for me. It was only when I began reading historical fiction that I became a history aficionado.
How people in the past lived, how they ate, slept, dressed, and worked is fascinating to me. Were someone to invent a time travel machine, I would be first in line. (With my penicillin)
When I began my Marriage Mart Mayhem series, the first two books (The Elusive Wife and The Duke’s Quandary) were set in London, during what is called the Season. That is where young ladies try to snag a husband, where their mamas turn into eagle-eyed huntresses on behalf of their young daughters, and the gentlemen attempt to avoid all of that for as long as possible. But, alas, duty eventually calls and the gentlemen must marry and set up their nursery. After all, those titles must be passed down.
The next two books (The Lady’s Disgrace and The Baron’s Betrayal) took place in the country, for a change of pace. There life was a bit different, more relaxed, and without the frantic pace of London. All of that was easy to research because so much has been written on the time period and England. There are plenty of resources for life in the country and small villages.
The books that followed (The Highlander’s Choice—July release, and The Highlander’s Accidental Marriage—November release) posed more of a problem. There is a great deal of information on the Regency time period, but almost none about Scotland at the time. This was after the Battle of Culloden, and the dreadful Clearances that followed, where so many Scots were thrown off land they’d lived and worked on for centuries. Very little in the way of history is recorded about that time. Most Scots probably busy packing to emigrate to America.
The final book in the series (The Abandoned Bride) will take place in Regency era America. I don’t expect to have too much trouble finding history for that book. I just hope I don’t spend more time reading about how to make Johnnycake, or spin wool, than I do actually gathering facts for my genteel lady who arrives from England in search of her missing husband.
The Scottish Highlands, 1815Lady Sybil Lacey is every inch an English woman. She's horrified her best friend is wedding a barbarian Scot. For aren't Scots naught but brutish, whiskey-swilling lechers? So to find herself secretly attracted to the tall and devastatingly handsome Scottish laird of Bedlay Castle is quite disconcerting...Liam MacBride is convinced that English ladies are silly sassenachs who think of nothing but social events and clothes. So why is he intensely drawn to Lady Sybil? All they do is quarrel...until loathing turns into undeniable lust.A tempestuous, fiery romance between an English lady and a Scottish laird cannot end well.
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Her first glimpse of Liam when she and Margaret arrived at the great hall took her breath away. Both men were dressed in traditional Scottish garb; kilts of their clans, with white lawn shirts, doublets, and sporrans. By Liam’s side hung a sword that she could imagine him swinging on a battlefield. His reddish golden hair was pulled back into a queue and tied with a ribbon.
With their broad shoulders and height, the men seemed to take all the air out of the room, despite them being in the great hall. Sybil certainly felt as though there was a shortage of air. Her lungs couldn’t seem to get enough of it. Her heart pounded to the extent she was afraid she would embarrass herself by swooning—something she’d never done in her life.
No matter how many times she forced herself to look at the priest, she found her eyes drifting toward Liam. A finer man had never existed. His strong chin, chiseled features, and full lips made small little butterflies in her stomach dance a cotillion. She snapped her head back to face the priest when Liam caught her staring and gave her a broad wink. Honestly, the man had no refinement.
I was the one staring at him.
Her flustered state kept her from concentrating on the ceremony, and she was therefore, surprised when Duncan turned to Margaret and gave her a chaste kiss before they turned to face the guests. A loud cheer went up from the crowd, foot stomping and whistles reverberating around the room. The bride and groom and she and Liam, as witnesses, signed the marriage book.
Duncan led Margaret to the head table. Liam extended his arm to Sybil, and she had a flash of being in his arms a few hours ago. Thinking of how she once again had enjoyed their kiss, heat rose from her middle to swamp her face, surely turning it red. “Are ye all right, lass?” His deep voice, lowered so only she could hear, increased her discomfort.
“Yes, I’m fine,” she snapped.
He grinned that wicked smile, turning her insides to mush. “It seems to me ye are a bit disturbed.”
“Nonsense, I’m merely emotional over my friend’s wedding.”
Liam escorted her to a seat alongside Margaret and brushed his mouth near her ear. “Dinna fash yerself, lass. ’Twas only a kiss.”
He straightened and took his seat next to her.
’Twas only a kiss?
No doubt to a randy Scot that incident was merely a kiss. Most likely something he used with charming regularity to gain access to women’s beds. Well, she would not be one of his women. She was a respectable English miss, who would never dally with a Scot.
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