hosted by Donna MacMeans
May I say how thrilled I am to be here? I love Romance Bandits and have been a fan for years. I’ve also been an Internet hermit for years, only recently embracing social media. So this is my first guest appearance here.
But guess what? I’ve been in the lair before. Long-time Banditas might recognize the name “Crianlarich.” That was me. In those days, I didn’t want to post on the Internet. But I adored this blog and sometimes really wanted to participate. So Crianlarich was born. It’s the name of a sweet little blink-in-the-road village in Scotland. Better said, a fork in the road. It’s the point of no return if you’re driving into the Highlands. And if you’re leaving them, it’s the place you pass and then know the Highlands are behind you.
So I have a love-hate relationship with Crianlarich. My mood depends on the direction I’m taking.
I do love the name, though. And so I nabbed it for use when looking in here.
A roguish chieftain’s world is upended when a dangerous enemy shatters the peace of a sacred glen just as a determined lady proves true love can conquer the most unwilling heart.
Here’s the official back cover blurb:
HIGHLAND WARRIORS/TEMPTATION OF A HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL
Three beguiling women united in their vow to restore peace.
Despite an official peace decreed by the King after a fierce battle between neighboring clans, old conflicts smolder in the Glen of Many Legends. Kendrew mackintosh, chieftain of his clan, is famed as both a hot-blooded warrior and a sensual lover. He has no intention of settling down… until he kisses a forbidden beauty whose passion matches his own.
Highborn and gently-raised, Lady Isobel Cameron has long harbored a secret fascination for the fearless, charismatic Mackintosh leader – even though her brother is his sworn enemy. When destiny draws Isobel and Kendrew together for one night, she discovers a secret tender
I love all my books, as authors should, but Scoundrel has a special place in my heart. For one, Kendrew is a rascal. It’s been a while since I wrote such a hero, the last one being Bran of Barra, hero of my favorite Allie Mackay title, Some Like It Kilted.
Kendrew and Bran are rogues. Big, burly men, rough around the edges. They’re rugged and cold-hardy, not fazed by lashing wind and rain and they can wear the roughest wool without itching. They live hard and they love challenges. They can silence a great hall with a glance. And if they’re in a good mood, they can fill that same hall with gut-splitting laughter. They have crooked smiles, wicked winks, and have the simple neck nuzzle down to perfection.
Women love them. And I should probably write them more often because each time I do, I fall so in love with them.
Kendrew’s heroine, Isobel, was equally smitten. She knew what she wanted and she went after her man. Kendrew’s wildness didn’t deter her. Far from it, she felt drawn to him as you can see in this mini-scene…
This is near the beginning of the book. Isobel is in her bedchamber at her home, Castle Haven. Her friend and sister-in-law, Catriona MacDonald, heroine of Sins of a Highland Devil, is with her. Because Catriona is now pregnant, she’s resting on Isobel’s bed.
It is Midsummer Eve and their topic is Kendrew. His clan is famed for their raucous celebration of the pagan festival. The revels take place in the heart of Kendrew’s Nought territory, in the shadows of the dreagan stones. (large stone burial cairns, older than time and very mysterious.)
Here’s the mini-excerpt:
“Kendrew Mackintosh is a howling madman.” Catriona found her tongue at last, proving she knew the source of Isobel’s agitation.
Isobel flicked at her sleeve, too irritated to care.
“It is summer solstice.” She spoke her mind, images of Kendrew’s big, powerfully muscled body kissed by the glow of bonfires making her breath catch and her skin tingle. “The Mackintoshes celebrate Midsummer in the old way.” She glanced at the room’s tall window arches, her pulse quickening at the polished gleam of the twilight sky. “On such a night, I can’t help but wonder if he really does leap naked onto the cairns.”
“He is surely bold enough.” Catriona smoothed the bed covers, resting her hands atop her slightly swollen belly. “Everyone knows he’s wholly untamed.”
Isobel could’ve added more. She did imagine him standing in the heart of his rock-hewn land, cold mist blowing around him, the gold of his Thor’s hammer and arm rings glinting brightly.
“He is fearless, true enough.” Catriona shivered when a chill wind swept the room, stirring the floor rushes. “Word is he can trace his line back to the Berserkers, Odin’s bloodthirsty, half-mythic body guards.
“So-o-o….” She laced her fingers. “He could well be doing anything this night, including leaping naked onto his dreagan stones.”
But unlike her friend, she didn’t find the notion disturbing.
The brisk air filling the chamber brought traces of damp earth and pine, just a hint of distant woodsmoke. Soon the first stars would start to glimmer. Beyond the thick forest that separated their lands, Mackintosh bonfires would crackle and blaze.
Those who prayed to Odin would gather. Men would touch hammer amulets and drink from mead horns. Blood would heat, passions rising as the revelry commenced….
Isobel’s heart pounded.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing Kendrew on those stones.” She glanced again at the windows, the night’s magic calling to her, making her restless.
“The sight would ruin you for life.” Catriona sounded sure.
Isobel lifted her chin. “I think I’d be rather intrigued.”
Isobel will be more than intrigued when she encounters Kendrew later that night at his clan’s Midsummer Eve celebration. He really is a larger-than-life hero and his roguish charm made him so much fun to write. Isobel is perfect for him, as she knows. Kendrew is the one who needs convincing. Luckily, Isobel is more than capable of persuading him to change his mind. How she does that made working with her a joy. I love strong heroines who are unafraid to go after their dreams.
I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Kendrew and Isobel in the pages of TEMPTATION OF A HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL. If you’d enjoy a bit more insight into their world, read on to discover a few fun facts about the book:
Fun Facts ~ TEMPTATION OF A HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL
I love wild places. Kendrew’s Nought is my favorite corner of the Glen of Many Legends. Though fictitious, Nought was inspired by some of the most remotely splendid areas I’ve explored in Scotland.
Readers wishing to experience the magic of Nought’s dreagan stones should visit Scotland’s Neolithic chambered cairns. I’m sure I’ve heard the rumble of dreagans inside a few of them.
Kendrew’s battle-lust is legend, his ferocity attested on the page. Readers who know how much I enjoy quiet living, might be surprised to learn that I love writing fight scenes, the more fierce, the better.
Slag, Borg, and Drago, three of Nought’s mythical dreagans, were based on dogs I have known and loved. To me, pets we’ve lost are like dreagans. As long as we remember them, they’re with us always.
Banditas, I’m so pleased to be with you today. To celebrate, I’m giving away one signed copy of TEMPTATION OF A HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL. Just tell me if you, too, prefer your heroes a bit rough around the edges. If so, Kendrew, my very own wild man hero, will toss you one of his crooked smiles.
Thanks so much to Donna and all the Romance Bandits for inviting me to the lair today!