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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Highland Homecoming by B. J. Scott (Guest Post & Giveaway)


I am very pleased to welcome B. J. Scott to my blog today!

**B.J. will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card, Scottish shortbread cookies, can cooler and mouse pad (US/CANADA ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a beaded book thong with silver charms, book marks, pen, and canvas tote to a randomly drawn host (US/CANADA ONLY). To visit B. J.'s other stops, click here

B. J. is here to give us some very interesting information on what she learned doing research for Highland Homecoming:

Thank you for hosting me today.
There was so many fascinating things I learned when researching for my books.

The Scottish fight for independence with England is something most people are aware of, but what many do not know is that it was as much a civil war, Scots pitted against Scots as it was a war against oppression.
Kenneth MacAlpin was the first king to rule a united Scotland. His descendant ruled until the last MacAlpin king, Malcolm II, died without a male heir in the early 11th century. The kingdom passed on to his daughter's son, Duncan I, creating a new line of kings, the house of Dunkeld or Canmore. The last Dunkeld king was Alexander III. When he died in 1286 he left an infant granddaughter as heir. At aged four years, Margaret, Maid of Norway, died in a ship wreck while on her way to Scotland.

Edward I, King of England, took advantage of the uncertainty of who should rule Scotland and set out to conquer the nation.  While there were as many as 13 possible claimants, including Robert the Bruce’s grandfather, Edward eventually declared John Balliol king. While he had the strongest claim, he was chosen based on the fact he was a weak man and Edward knew he would be easily controlled. He ruled from 1292-1296, at which point he denounced his fealty to the English King, and sided with the French instead of supporting the English.

 Furious, Edward arrested Balliol and his son and imprisoned them, declaring himself ruler of Scotland. He assigned his own men to take up positions of authority throughout the country and took the Stone of Destiny (Stone of Scone), the sacred stone on which all Scottish kings were crowned, to England. The Scottish nobles and people were forced to swear fealty to Edward and to sign the Ragman Rolls, declaring their loyalty to the English ruler. Those who rebelled or refused, were put to sword. As was the case at Berwick on Tweed in 1296 where Edward began his invasion. He attacked the city without mercy, killing almost 8000 men women and children. It was here that the three brothers in my trilogy lost their father and oldest brother, vowing to someday seek revenge for their deaths. (Purely fictional characters of course)
The Scottish people hated Edward and the unrest and rebellions that followed in late 13th and into the 14th century were known as the Scottish war for independence.

Men like William Wallace and the Earl of Moray rallied armies to fight against Edward. Their victory at Stirling Bridge in 1297 being a key battle. They continued to fight in small squirmiest using guerilla war tactic rather than the frontal assaults the English were accustomed to, but the underlying political turmoil continued to boil.   During this time the leadership in Scotland was divided between the two guardians appointed by Edward, Robert the Bruce and John Comyn (a cousin of Balliol.) The two men hated each other, often coming to blows when they met, and that in itself divided the country. Those who followed the Bruce and those who believed Comyn should rule.

Both men swore fealty to Edward, at least temporarily. Robert was torn between ultimate bid for the crown and leaving the country when his father fled to Norway, gave up his Scottish holdings and titles, leaving Robert and his siblings behind. As the eldest of nine, several of which eventually gave their lives in support of their older brother, Robert decided to stay in Scotland.

When Robert and Comyn met at Grey Friar’s Church in the spring of 1306, tempers flared and Robert wounded Comyn. When Robert left the church, Comyn was alive, but two of his men returned to finish the job, killing Comyn, a deed for which Robert was blamed. Left with the choice to lead the Scottish revolt or flee as a wanted man, he went to Scone and after receiving absolution from the church, crowned himself king of Scotland. This further divided the country.  Some of the people supported the Bruce’s claim to the throne and the remainder, including clan’s like the MacDougalls, believe him a murderer and wanted justice for the death of Red Comyn.

The Scottish people who rallied behind Robert continued their fight against the English, while clans who supported Comyn’s claim sided with the English.  The battle of Methven, was one such battle. And is featured in book one of my series, Highland Legacy. The Scottish army was ambushed while they slept, and as those who survived fled, Scottish clans who supported the English lay in wait to intercept them.  The Bruce, after suffering serious losses and still considered a fugitive, fled the mainland to plan his strategy, returning a year later. It was at this time the tide changed in favor of the Scots. The Battle of Loudon Hill, featured in book 2 of the series, Highland Quest, a decisive win for the Bruce. He proceeded from there to reclaim northern Scotland, then turned his attention south, with retribution against the clans who opposed him as part of his vendetta. Book 3 Highland Homecoming takes place at this time.
***
About the book:
The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach in Northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tends to her injuries–an act that has him questioning his destiny and his plans to rejoin the fight for Scotland’s independence.


Will he drop the shield that guards his heart or will the secrets she fails to reveal and his own stubbornness keep them apart forever?


***


Excerpt: 
Perched on a stool by the fire, he watched her sleep, wondering how he was going to ever let her go. She was by far the loveliest woman he had ever seen, and she did not seem to be put off by his size, awkwardness, or lack of manners. But duty dictated that they part ways.

After tossing a log on the fire, he spread a pelt on the floor in front of the hearth, then lowered himself to the ground. He pulled the tunic over his head and tossed it on the stool, then did the same with his trews and boots, before settling beneath a length of plaid.

The last thing he wanted to do was lie on the floor and go to sleep. If truth be known, he wanted to slip beneath the covers, take Lauren in his arms, and make her his own. But that would not be right or proper. They were not betrothed and despite what people might think of him, he was a man of honor.

The women he’d bedded in the past had all been of questionable repute and none had been untried maidens. If Lauren was not already married or spoken for, he held enough respect for her that he would wait until their wedding night. But then again, if she did not get her memory back, he might never know for certain.

He slammed his fist on the floor. What the hell was he thinking? He was never going to take a bride. Especially one with no past. He was a warrior. There was no future for them, something he best not forget. He tucked the plaid around his shoulders and dozed off.

An ear-piercing scream disturbed his slumber and Alasdair jolted up with a start. Wasting no time, he climbed to his feet and raced to the pallet.
***
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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 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.

http://www.authorbjscott.com/home

http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/highland-homecoming/


Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook

Highland Homecoming( book 3 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)
Highland Quest (book 2 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)
Highland Legacy: (book 1 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)

**B.J. will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card, Scottish shortbread cookies, can cooler and mouse pad (US/CANADA ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a beaded book thong with silver charms, book marks, pen, and canvas tote to a randomly drawn host (US/CANADA ONLY). To visit B. J.'s other stops, click here
***

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today. I will be at work, but plan to drop by on a regular basis to answer any questions your guests might have.

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  2. The book sounds fabulous.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Since, I love Scottish romances, B J's Highland series is perfect for me, I will add them to my TBR list! thank you! love the excerpt! nlaverdure88@videotron.ca

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  5. Sounds like an amazing read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Happy Holidays!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  6. I'd not seen this one before. I love Scottish romances. And what fascinating history!

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  7. Interesting info

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  8. I've read excerpts of all the books in the series and they look amazing!! I'm hoping someone gives them to me for Christmas!!

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  9. Sounds like a great book! ghwasd at gmail dot com

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  10. This book sounds so. A. Ma. Zing.!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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