When you hear the word Highlander or see it splashed across a book cover, what ideas instantly come to mind? Scotland, of course, but I bet you think of muscled warriors draped in plaid wool, or castles full of lairds or chieftains who steal pretty women from neighboring clans. Romance is part of the charm, while kidnappings, battles, swords and bagpipes make a Highland story (like mine) bring these ancient, mystical warriors to life.
I haven’t visited Scotland yet, but I have experienced the sights, sounds, and flavors of Scottish life by attending Scottish Highland games and festivals. My recent excursion to a huge gathering in New England, here in America, has given me ideas for my romance novels. My next 2nd book in the Kilted Athletes Through Time series, My Dark Highlander, includes many aspects of both modern and ancients Scottish Highland games and festivals.
Carrying a notebook and my trusty camera, I snapped various photos. The New England games are so popular, this year Thor Bjornsson, ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones, participated in the heavy athletic events!
To give you a taste of how I incorporate what I hear and see at the games, please enjoy this short excerpt, which depicts a moment when my heroine, veterinarian Jenny Morgan joins her friends.
Jenny shook her head, but was relieved. Danger averted. There was no need to share her recent time travel adventure with her friend.
Not until I’m sure it really happened.
“Rae, are you competing soon? I promised to help Dorcas with her tent.”
He managed to divert his attention from Denise, back to her. “I entered what they call the sheath toss, though where I hail from, ‘tis called a sheaf toss.”
“Really?” Denise stepped closer, “And what kind of a sport is that?”
Rae crossed his hands behind his back, stretching the cotton T-shirt tighter across his chest. The cad.
He knows he looks good.
“Several kilted men and women, if ye can believe that, will toss a burlap sack of straw over a high bar, using a pitchfork.”
“That doesn’t sound too hard, and I hope a woman wins,” Denise said.
Rae grimaced. “The program, a lightweight book of printed pages with paintings, says the sack weighs twenty pounds.”
“Sounds light, doesn’t it,” Jenny added, “but I heard that they will keep raising the bar far above the competitors’ heads, until only one person can make it over without hitting the bar.”
“Can you win?” Denise asked Rae, completely ignoring Jenny.
“Aye. I be quite talented in…many things.”
Denise slapped his forearm, and laughed. “We’ll watch for you. Buy you a drink, if you win.”
“Good luck. We’ll wait for you near the bleachers,” Jenny added.
His brow furrowed, so Jenny pointed to the set of raised aluminum seats, near the Information Tent. When he nodded, she latched on to Denise’s wrist and headed away.
“I need a drink. You?” her friend said.
This was only one example of athletic events held at Highland games and festivals. Enjoy the photos, as well!
My Dark Highlander Book blurb
Stranded in 1603 Scotland, veterinarian Jenny Morgan is eager to get home to New England. Hiding her ability to read auras, a powerful witch comes to her aid. All Jenny will miss is the man who stole her heart, one dark night.
Laird Gavin Sinclair has a missing brother, a murderous father, and a dark-eyed beauty on his mind. When Jenny returns to a dangerous future, he sets aside his obligations and searches for her at the New England Highland Games. Jealousy and lust ravage his dark soul, until he and Jenny fight evil together.
Where can readers buy your book?
My Dark Highlander
Print ISBN 13: 978-1502558558
More About Nancy Lee Badger
She loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. She and her family volunteer every year under the Information Tent at the New Hampshire Highland Games.
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My Lady Highlander
Book #1 in the Kilted Athletes Through Time series
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