What’s New Wednesday

Who doesn’t love a sexy Highlander?

hh (640x389)

Kind of a rhetorical question, right?  Well, today we have a special treat. BJ Scott is here, talking about her trilogy and sharing insights about the Celtic culture.

Medieval Scotland: A society rooted in myth and superstition.

When the Celtic people emigrated from Ireland to Scotland, along with their Celtic religion, they brought with them a strong belief in fairies, superstitions, myths, and legends. This resulted in a culture that was governed by rituals intended to bring good luck, blessing, to promote prosperity, to help them to select a mate, to keep their children safe from fairies, to influence crop yields, increase fertility, and to protect them from evil and tragedy. Simple day-to-day activities, things like how to plant a field, to lead a cow, the order in which ingredients were added to a pot, and direction it was stirred, the proper way to celebrate feasts and sacred days were all carried out according to legendary practices. Breaking with tradition or going against the myth meant you were inviting trouble. Many a tale was told of those who had done just that and the grave consequences. All of the Celtic festivals and how they were celebrated were based on their beliefs in the ‘other world’ or superstition.

Perhaps one of the most prevalent beliefs of the Celtic people living in the Highlands was in the “gift of second sight.” The Gaelic name for this form of precognition was dà shealladh, which translated means two sights,  the ability of a person to not only see the world as all normal humans do, but they also had the skill to see the spirit world. Called a gift by some, it was often seen as a curse by those said to possess these abilities.

The taibhs (spirits) beheld by the taibhsear (person with second sight) in what was referred to as astaibhsearchd (the act of precognition) usually foretold of unhappy events and often of impending death. Sometimes the premonitions were clearly observed in a vision depicting the event exactly as it would unfold—a noose around someone’s throat, someone submerged in water and struggling to catch a breath, or a headless man—but more often, the events were seen symbolically.

The shroud, the corpse-candle or spectral illuminations, each held a specific significance.  The shroud of death and where it was wrapped around a person’s body indicated how long they had to live. Draped around the middle or below, meant death might not occur for months or even a year, but the higher it was positioned, the sooner the death would occur.  Wrapped around a specific part of the body could signify the way they would die. A full funeral procession, the way being lit by corpse-candles and other illuminations was also viewed as a sign of impending demise. If a spark of fire was seen falling upon someone’s arm or breast, this indicated the dead of a child, especially if seen in the arms of that person.  Seeing an empty seat when someone was sitting in it was a sign that sudden death was near.

The knowledge of when and where a person would die, to see the demise of friends and family, or simply being aware of people’s nature in general was a heavy burden to carry and often feared.  Even though the visions came on them without warning and was not by choice, the person with second sight often found themselves living in solitude. Be it by preference or forced upon them.

While thought to be hereditary, second sight was known to skip a generation or two and then reappear. When it might strike or who would be afflicted was never known for certain. Not all visions were of tragedy. On occasion, happier events were seen. If a woman was seen standing at a man’s left hand there was a good chance she would be his wife, even if he was already married at the time of the vision. If more than one woman was seen, the one closest to the man’s left hand would be his next wife.

In the second book of my series, Highland Quest, the heroine, Fallon, is blessed according to some with the gift, but in her mind it is a curse. She is shunned for her abilities because people fear her gift. She foresees the death of Bryce, the hero, and is afraid her love will lead to his demise. We meet Fallon in the first book and gain some insight into her prophecies.

ABOUT THE TRILOGY

hh (640x389)

When I started my first book, Highland Legacy, Connor Fraser’s story, I was not sure if it would be a single title or a series. After the book was published in November of 2011, I received many requests for sequels involving the other two brothers, Bryce and Alasdair, so a series was born.

Book #1: Highland Legacy is available in e-book and print.

Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.

Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?

Book #2: Highland Quest is in e-book format, print coming soon.

No longer content in the shadows of his older brothers, and on a quest to find his destiny, Bryce Fraser’s chosen path is fraught with danger, passion, and decisions. Can his unspoken love for spirited, beguiling Fallon be triumphant in a time of war and uncertainty, or will they both fall prey to the devious plans of a traitorous laird from a rival clan?

Book #3: Highland Homecoming releases Summer/Fall 2013.

The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach along the coast of northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tend so her injuries–an act that has him questioning his plans to rejoin Robert the Bruce and the fight for Scotland’s independence.

About BJ Scott

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A PAN member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.

Connect with BJ Scott

12 Days of Christmas Finale

Merry Christmas !

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with their friends and family today. I know I am. My husband is mixing the Belgian waffle mix as I write this and my son just woke and is getting cleaned up. It’s time to get the day started!

So, today’s post will be short – let’s celebrate and spend the day with our loved ones.

Shadow won an e-book copy of Highland Legacy by BJ Scott

Michelle McCarthy won an e-book copy of Roar of Revenge by Joan Baier

Elf won an e-book copy of Ask Her at Christmas by Christi Barth

Mary Preston won a $5 Gift Certificate to Soul Mate Publishing

On to the grand prizes

DRUM ROLL …

Laurie G wonPackage One: A gold cuff bracelet from Charming Charlies, $10 GC from Soul Mate Publishing, swag pack for Winter’s Magic, and an autographed paperback of Promises to Keep by Char Chaffin.

Joy F won Package Two: A pair of gold dangle earings from Charming Charlies, your choice of $10 GC from either Amazon OR Barnes & Noble, swag pack for Winter’s Magic, and an autographed paperback of Pack & Coven, by Jody Wallace.

Holly Underhill won Package Three: A hanging jewelry organizer from Charming Charlies, a $10 GC to Starbucks, swag pack for Winter’s Magic, and an autographed paperback of Keeper of My Heart by Darcy Flynn.

Surprise Giveaways:

Anna Stinson left the most comments throughout the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Leigh Ann Budd came in second and Marjorie Gilbert came in third.  Each of you will receive a $10 gift card to Soul Mate Publishing.  Sign up for their newsletter and you’ll get the monthly BUY 1 GET 1 coupon and get even more for the value!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, bought a copy of Winter’s Magic, Facebooked and Tweeted the contest and supported my debut novel in any way. I’ve had so much fun since it’s release 10/24 and my blog tour continues into January – Winter doesn’t end until March : )  Keep your eyes open for Spring’s Surprise coming in April.

Between now and then, I hope you enjoy my blog as I pick back up with What’s New Wednesday – sharing new books and values I’ve found and Fantastic Fridays where I share recipes, great shopping deals and other tidbits of exciting news.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

12 Days of Christmas Days 10 & 11 & 12

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Favorite Author Gave To Me …

Day 10, 11, & 12 Giveaways:

1 e-book copy of Highland Legacy by BJ Scott

1 e-book copy of Roar of Revenge by Joan Baier

1 e-book copy of Ask Her at Christmas by Christi Barth

1 $5 Gift Certificate to Soul Mate Publishing

christmas tree 2012

Can you believe it’s Friday and we’re only 4 days away from Christmas?

I’m so excited. All of our presents are bought and wrapped and lying beneath our beautiful tree.  I love to sit in the living room with the lights off and simply let the tree and mantle lights glow.  Turn on the stereo to soft Christmas tunes.  Ahh … it’s so relaxing!

So, what are your favorite Christmas activities?  Do you go ice skating on a frozen pond or at the town square? Do you make hot toddy’s? Do you have a favorite Christmas movie that the family watches every single year? Maybe you go out to the middle of the family farm and cut down your own tree. Or you could be like Beth and her mom in Winter’s Magic and bake sweets to give away to all of your neighbors. Tell us all about it!

FIVE Ways To Enter The Current Drawing:

1. Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite Christmas activities are.

2.  Facebook and Tweet to your friends about this posting.

3.  Bring a friend to the party. Anyone leaving a comment that tells me you sent them, they’ll get an entry and you’ll get a bonus entry.

4.  BUY a copy of Winter’s Magic today and you’ll receive 5 Bonus Entries.

5.  GIFT a copy of Winter’s Magic to a friend or coworker. At $4.99 it’s the perfect size every time and you’ll receive 5 Bonus Entries.

12 Days of Christmas Day 8 & 9 Winners:

Mary Preston won an e-book copy of A Soulmate For Christmas by Cynthia Racette, Angela Scavone, Aliza Mann, J.J. Devine, Char Chaffin

Elf won an e-book copy of Hunted by Elle Hill

Collette Cameron won an e-book copy of Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Marjorie Gilbert won a $5 Soul Mate Publishing Gift Certificate

Have Fun – Spread the Word

Come Back Tomorrow – See Who Won – Enter Again

Bonus:  Did you know that Soul Mate Publishing offers ebooks formatted for Kindle, Nook or pdf readers like Sony? And if you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll get a BOGO coupon every month. Buy your copy of Winter’s Magic today, and get another book FREE.

December BOGO

*e-book prizes eligible worldwide. Paperbacks, swag packs and grand prizes eligible only in the US and Canada. By entering, winners grant permission for the use of your name on my website, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter and any other print or electronic media, regardless of format.