I must be a total dolt. I just discovered that my next Avon book is coming out on July 31, not August 31. Honestly, my only excuse is that I’m in the midst of writing another book for Avon that’s due on August 31, so I must have just misheard my editor when we were talking about delivery dates and release dates.
So – I’m pleased to announce [[ahem]] that my first Scottish Highlander romance is coming out sooner than I thought! The Warrior Laird will hit bookshelves and online bookstores on July 31st! That is just over a month away!
I did loads of research for this book, reading lots of sources on Scottish history, and watching the BBC series The History of Scotland with Neil Oliver (which is great, by the way. If you have any interest in Scottish history, I highly recommend it).
As I was reading, I came across a very interesting – and horrifying – incident. It occurred in February 1692 in a little place in the highlands called Glencoe. As you may know – the Scottish highlands and England were at odds at this time (it’s complicated, so I won’t go into detail here) and the English decided it was time to teach the highlands a lesson. Royalist soldiers went to Glencoe and stayed in the little village for about two weeks, eating their food, drinking their ale. They spent their nights around the fires in the people’s little crofts. Then, one bitter winter night, they received their orders.
The first line of the orders (shown at right and signed by Major Robert Duncanson) is this: You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the McDonalds of Glenco, and put all to the sword under seventy. The soldiers did exactly that. They brutally and without warning, murdered numerous Glencoe residents. Many of the people ran away into the mountains, only to die of exposure. The slaughter was all about political maneuverings and lessons being taught.
The hero of The Warrior Laird is Dugan MacMillan, who was a child at Glencoe when the massacre took place. His father and older brother were killed, and his mother died of exposure. Dugan never forgot and will never forgive the royalists who destroyed his family. At least, not until years later when he meets Maura Duncanson – cousin to the officer who signed the lethal order. But even when he begins to fall for her, she poses a challenge to him and to the security of his clan. He has to out-maneuver her in order to prevent his clan’s eviction.
Maura has to do some maneuvering of her own, because she has no intention of giving in to Dugan. That would thwart her own agenda, and the stakes are high for what she needs to accomplish.
You’ll be happy to know that a copy of this letter with its murderous orders was discovered during the lifetime of the officers who carried out these orders. A parliamentary inquest took place, and everyone knew who was responsible for the massacre – the king himself. No one was ever punished for it, however. (Things don’t change much, do they?)
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll post an excerpt from The Warrior Laird on my website. In the meantime, Avon has put electronic versions of several of my books on sale. Brazen is only $0.99 until July 9th. Seducing the Governess and The Bride Hunt (which takes place in Scotland) is $1.99 until the end of June. http://amzn.to/MjfSaj or http://bit.ly/KvY35b
Now that I’ve confessed to a really dumb misunderstanding – tell me about one of yours. I’ll choose one commenter to receive a download of my short e-story Brash.