Guest: Nancy Lee Badger

Award-winning author, Nancy Lee Badger, 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. A former EMT, volunteer firefighter, and 911 Dispatcher, Nancy writes about kilted Highlanders, heart-broken dragons, and romantic thrillers and 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.  

Welcome, Nancy! Please tell us about your new release.

The idea to add pirates to My Hunted Highlander, the final book in my Scottish time travel series, came out of the blue. The blue being my love of the sea. I grew up within walking distance of beaches on the north shore of Long Island in New York and as older kids, we traveled in packs on weekends to Jones Beach or Fire Island. Visiting Scotland is on my bucket list, and the North Sea is at the top of the Scottish vistas I mean to enjoy.

My Hunted Highlander’s plot can be described this way:  Plucked naked from the North Sea, bruised and nearly drowned, Niall Sinclair wakes bound to the mast of the pirate ship, The Black Thistle. Hiding his identity, and brutalized by the first mate and other seamen, their captain comes to his aid. Her identity, and gender, are a surprise, and his physical reaction to her makes him nearly forget his need to escape, and return to his clan.

When kidnapped from her shipbuilding business in modern day Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the last place Blair MacIan figured to end up, was at the helm of a pirate ship in 1603 Scotland. With her abusive husband dead, and the ship, the crew, and their people under her care, the last thing she needed was to fish a naked man from the sea. His ravaged face and ragged sandy hair could not detract from his magnificence, and she sensed in him, a means for her own escape.

A woman pirate? Why not! Mixing a modern woman making the best of a horrid situation, and a scarred and lost Highlander, gave me plenty of opportunities to twist this story into a scary, upbeat, kilted, romantic romp. My research into pirates plying the North Sea off Scotland’s eastern coast was spotty, but what little I found was enough to create a crew, a ship, and a plot.

This book follows My Lady Highlander and My Dark Highlander, and is the last time travel romance I will be writing (for a while), but not the last of books with a Scottish theme. I plan to volunteer at the 40th annual New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival this fall, something I share with my family. While surrounded by thousands of men dressed in Highland kilts, with dirks on their hips, and whisky on their breath, the next book will easily write itself!

Excerpt from My Hunted Highlander
“What be this?”
 “An eye patch. It’ll keep your damaged eye from straining to stay closed. Keeping it covered will let it heal. Tie your hair at the back of your neck with this, and I will show you how it works.”
Niall shoved his fingers through his hair, then accepted a short strip of thicker leather. He tied his hair into a short queue, then lowered his arms.
Blair stepped closer and positioned the wool over his left eye. It rested alongside the left side of his nose, running from his brow, to below his eye. The darkness and softness of the wool was not as pleasurable as the gentle touch of her fingertips, as she centered the cloth. The leather ties pulled across his forehead and above his left ear. She walked behind him and tied them at the back of his head.
“Too tight?”
“Nay.” The strings were fine, but he lied about the tightness, elsewhere. Feeling like a green boy, alone for the first time with a tavern wench aiming to share her wares, he stifled a groan and waited.
She returned to her side of the table, and stood gazing down at him. “How does that feel?”
Settling back in the creaking wooden chair, he glanced around the room. His damaged cheek felt the slight pressure of the cloth, but the strain to keep his left eye closed had disappeared. “Aye, ‘tis fine. I thank ye, lass…Captain.”
She cocked her head to the side. “You look like a pirate.”
“I would like to join yer crew.”
“What?” she cried, as she tumbled onto her seat. The chair teetered backward, and as her arms flailed, he raced to her side. When the chair stopped bobbling, and the front legs slammed back onto the wood floor, she glared up at him.

Nancy is giving away a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Enter HERE.
Please visit Nancy online:
Amazon Author Page

Nancy's new book, My Hunted Highlander, is available at the following links.
Amazon ebook  
Amazon print    

Thank you, Nancy, for being our special guest today!

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Last weekend was the hot air balloon festival in Quechee, Vermont which is always held on Father's Day weekend. I love this picture which my friend's husband took.

A balloon festival is highly dependent on the weather. Even though Friday and Saturday were beautiful summer days, it was too windy in the evenings so the balloons were only able to take off on Saturday morning. The downside to that is that they take off starting at 6 a.m. So I missed it.

But my husband went down to the field where they take off, which is a short walk from our house. Fortunately he took his car because they had a large number of balloons go off and he decided to follow them. (It's a male thing because my friend's husband did the same thing which is how he got that picture.)

Here's one of the pictures my husband took. 

He was thrilled to be able to help some of the balloons land. (Male thing again.)

The balloons are obviously dependent on the wind and on this occasion they were blowing away from our house. Sometimes they blow toward our place and we can sit on the deck and talk to people in the basket. I've learned to get dressed before going out there for the 6 a.m. show. :)

Balloon enthusiasts come from all over the US and some from Canada. I look forward to seeing the same balloons each year, but also to seeing the new ones. My husband met a guy who left his house in CT at 3 a.m. to get there for the 6 show time. (His wife refused to come. Male thing.)

Despite what I'm saying about the guys, I do enjoy the festival. They also have light shows at night if the weather permits.

White Tiger Beauty

White Tiger Portrait
White Tiger Portrait

Go Away!

Go Away!

I just want to sleep. Undisturbed.

I just want to sleep. Undisturbed.

Do you ever feel like this? Like you need your beauty rest and no one is letting you get it?

Love the big cats!

What is your favorite animal at the zoo?

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Wilde & Woolly Bears

Inspiration For Writers

Writers are a different breed. We hear voices in our head. We play God with people’s lives on paper. We don’t look at things as they are, rather, we look at things and say, ‘What if…?’

But sometimes, even awesome writers like us get bitten by the self-doubt bug. It’s nasty. And dark. And one of its insidious symptoms is usually writer’s block.

Having just recovered from a recent severe bout of this awful affliction, I offer up some words of wisdom for writers, courtesy of these coffee mugs my long-suffering husband bought to cheer me up.

For really bad days:

Turns out I'm a genius!  But then for the days I actually think I'm a genius and everything will be okay:

So writing is a real roller coaster, as we all know. And just when we think we're going to go crazy, there's this sensible advice...

Sometimes hubby doesn’t understand my temperamental muse at all. But when he does something insanely wonderful like this, I’m tempted to give him a lifetime pass!

How about you? Does your significant other support you in your writing efforts? Or is he/she completely clueless about how difficult the creative process can be? Tell me!


Dream Vacation

Summer is usually a great time to get away and have some fun, or at least get some rest. I've been lucky enough to have had some great vacations in the past. I've gotten to visit family and friends. I've enjoyed the big city and sandy beaches. I've gotten to see amazing landscapes and meet lovely people.

This year we plan to visit family in the northeast, which will be nice because we don't go there often. However, as I'm planning the trip, I find myself wishing for a different kind of vacation...a writing vacation.

My job, although better than it was before, still requires more time than I'm thrilled with, so I don't get to write as much. I have one major story I work on, but there are bits and pieces of others that are just hanging, and that bugs me.

Therefore, if this trip got canceled for some reason and my DH asked me where I want to go or what I want to do, I'm probably going to say "to my computer" and "to write." I would also add that the computer would be a charged laptop on the beach, like this one.

If he argues, I would tell him that sights--like this sunset--inspire me and that I need a little inspiration. Usually when I say that, I'm sucking up to get jewelry for my birthday or something. I think the sunset would be much cheaper. See how easy I make it for DH to agree with me? There's an art to it, I tell ya'.
For right now, I'm packing for our trip. I am taking my laptop along in case I do get the chance to act on any random inspiration or one of the fifteen story ideas banging around in my imagination. What about you? What's your dream vacation? Does it involve summer reading? Summer writing? Summer love? Please do share!

Happy Reading!

Pond Update

In my last blog, "Algae: A Pond Owner's Nighmare," I described how frustrated I was with my own koi pond. Well, I am happy to report that things are much better! After ordering new filter material, which I clean several times a day, and using the Koi clay, the only place I have algae growing is along the edge of the liner. Through trial and error, I found that if I sprinkled the clay directly on top of the algae, the next day there appears to be much less. Another bonus: my koi, which I've had over ten years, seem much happier, which makes me happy, too!

Have a safe and funfilled Summer!


Taste of Scotland Festival & Scottish Tartans Museum

On Saturday, I went with a friend to the Taste of Scotland Festival and the Scottish Tartan Museum in Franklin, NC. I had only been to this one other time several years ago. Franklin is a beautiful small town with lots of shops. We were glad to see that it was partly cloudy and not terribly hot. 

click to enlarge

Lots of musicians played on this stage.
Franklin is a beautiful small town in the mountains.

Soon after arriving we had to have our own taste of Scotland in the form of shepherd's pie. It's made of ground beef, onions, carrots and peas, and topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. I added the pepper. It was delicious. Unfortunately I didn't see any neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), meat bridies or any other savory Scottish food. They did have shortbread. And I only found haggis in the shop. Not that I wanted any. :)

click to enlarge

A targe

Targe, pistols, ax and helmet at the MacLaren Clan tent.

A blacksmith forge demonstration.

Tartan flags.

Scottish and Irish flags
 We left the festival for a short while to visit the Scottish Tartans Museum down the street.

Rob Roy's plaid and weapons.

Click to enlarge. They have hundreds or thousands of tartans on display with labels.

Click to enlarge. This describes the clothing below.

Click to enlarge

Scottish weapons in the museum. Click to enlarge.

A pipe band on stage.
We shopped at both the outside vendors' tents and at the shops that lined the street and of course we loved listening to the Scottish music.

Thanks for checking out my pics!

 My Brave Highlander is available in audiobook from Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

The French translation of My Brave Highlander will release in July and is up for preorder.

Inspiration Teasers

While I have no design skills whatsoever, I've been playing around with making Facebook teaser graphics. Since I don't have any cats or dogs at the moment, I needed something to post! This past week I was in need of a little inspiration, so I dug into my files of inspirational quotes and designed a few graphics. For someone who can't visualize a picture, cover art or the furniture layout in my living room, I think I did pretty well.

They're nothing fancy, but maybe the quotes will inspire you this week!

Dare greatly! Do it now!

Her Royal Masquerade
Her Royal Bodyguard
Her Royal Rendezvous

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Can You Come Again, Like Next Week?

Rain shower in the distance
Rain shower in the distance
After all the flooding.
Storms returned and it poured right after I went inside
Storms returned and it poured right after I went inside
Building up quickly again and we had another torrential downpour.
Storms south
Storms south
Breaking up again.
Rainbow I took with my phone
Rainbow I took with my phone
Caught a rainbow.
Rainbow taken with camera but by that time it was fading. Used color enhancement and it appears there were two rainbows.
Rainbow taken with camera but by that time it was fading. Used color enhancement and it appears there were two rainbows.
Love the rainbows.
Sunset turned the clouds a pretty pink.
Sunset turned the clouds a pretty pink.
The lower layer of clouds had all turned pink, but as you can see, we still have a lot of massive storm clouds in the area.
Massive cloud system still in the area when the sun began to set and turned them pink.
Massive cloud system still in the area when the sun began to set and turned them pink.

I know that it will eventually stop raining and we’ll be wishing we had some again!

Have a super great day!!!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Wilde & Woolly Bears