Highland Shirts and Romances

RavensWish_-_Cover_-_R16 (4) I’m delighted to announce that another of my early historical romances, The Raven’s Wish, is newly available in ebook format, with a gorgeous new cover and some author edits (I can’t resist cleaning up some of my newbie prose!). "Powerful, magical and delightful–a memorable romance that will keep readers on the edge of their seats." – Romantic Times

Ravenswish This book, of all of them, is special to me–it's the first of my Scottish historical romances. While researching and writing this novel, I discovered how much I love Scotland and Scottish history …and after many historical romances and two mainstream Scottish historicals so far, I’m still in love with Scotland.

A legend from my own Scottish heritage, Clan Fraser, first inspired me to try my hand at Scottish historical fiction. I learned that after the Battle of the Shirts in 1544 (Blar na Léine in Gaelic, literally the Field of Shirts)–when the Frasers met the MacDonalds in a Highland clash that nearly wiped out both clans–a legend arose about the renewal of Clan Fraser.

Battlefield1redoSM-my pic On a hot, sunny day in July, 1544, a brewing dispute between Frasers and MacDonalds boiled over on a golden reedy meadow at the head of Loch Lochy in the Highlands (west of Loch Ness in the chain of lochs – see my photo of the site at right). The dispute concerned who should be the new chief of Clan Donald. The direct heir was a young MacDonald who had fostered with his Fraser mother’s people, and so he had Fraser loyalty behind him. Another candidate had staunch MacDonald backing.

And besides, the young heir had insulted his MacDonald kin by refusing to eat chicken. 

Yes, chicken—a food considered too ordinary (along with fish) to offer a Highland chief. So the “hen-chief” and "Gallda" or stranger, as the MacDonalds called him, was sent packing to the Frasers, who gathered in huge numbers in his defense—meeting an even larger group of MacDonalds on the loch meadow, each ready to defend their favorite’s claim.

Plaid and sporran The day had the sort of sweltering heat that comes rarely to the Highlands, and the men each broke a stick and scratched a mark or initials into it before engaging, by Gaelic custom. As the skirmish escalated, the men shed their heavy woolen plaids in the heat—by the 16th century, wrapped, belted plaids were commonly worn by Highland men—and they fought in their shirts and then without them. With hack-and-slash combat and heavy bladed weapons, the men struggled fiercely on the banks of the loch. They must have looked more like wild, furious Celts than men of the 16th century.   Highlander by david wilkie

Finally the field was littered with bodies and scattered with plaids and shirts–so the battle is remembered as Blar na Léine, or Field of Shirts. Of over a thousand men, only five or six Frasers and eight or ten MacDonalds retrieved their notched sticks that day.

A clan legend arose from the tragedy. Fraser tradition holds that 80 Fraser women widowed that day were all pregnant. Within months, 80 sons were born, bringing hope to a depleted clan, whose plant badge was the yew tree—which sprouts new branches from within the old trunk.

It is recorded that 18 years later, the Fraser chief, Hugh, was a handsome 17 year old who charmed 20-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots (and was considered for her husband). Hugh had 79 cousins of the same age who formed his “tail” or escort.

So I wondered: what if one other Fraser had been born that year—a girl? And out of that question came The Raven's Wish.

Elspeth Fraser, a cousin of Hugh and the others born after Blar na Leine, has been raised with wild Highland lads, and she's resilient, nimble, bold—and a gifted Highland seer. When Queen Mary sends one of her lawyers, Duncan Macrae, to the Highlands to settle a dispute between wild young Frasers and some rowdy MacDonalds, Elspeth senses danger for the handsome lawyer and tries to warn him away. But Duncan does not believe in visions, and ignores the wild, beautiful girl's warning…and besides, he has a private score to settle now that he is back in the Highlands…

If you'd like to know more about Blar na Leine, please click here to read my historical article on the battle written for Clan Fraser Society UK.

And if you, too, have a weakness for Scottish historical romance—tell us why! Comment below and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to win a copy of The Raven’s Wish in e-book format!

Thanks, hope you enjoy my second-ever historical – and first Scottish romance, now available in ebook format on Kindle, Nook, and most other venues! (Special thanks to Nina Paules of ePublishingWorks! for creating another beautiful ebook – and for making the ebook giveaway possible!)

SusanBTR

P.S. FYI, the price has just been lowered for the ebook of The Black Thorne's Rose!   

 

 

45 thoughts on “Highland Shirts and Romances”

  1. Scottish romances are ‘new’ to me, I have read just about everything and anything I can get my hands on ‘regency’ but never seemed to read anything Scottish until recently when I read a couple of them and found myself actually liking them – even though there were no Dukes, no Almack’s, no house parties… for me, it was the passion in everything (loving, fighting and everything inbetween) that they say and do and the lack of ‘rules’ governing everything they do….basically for all the opposite reasons I love regency period!

    Reply
  2. Scottish romances are ‘new’ to me, I have read just about everything and anything I can get my hands on ‘regency’ but never seemed to read anything Scottish until recently when I read a couple of them and found myself actually liking them – even though there were no Dukes, no Almack’s, no house parties… for me, it was the passion in everything (loving, fighting and everything inbetween) that they say and do and the lack of ‘rules’ governing everything they do….basically for all the opposite reasons I love regency period!

    Reply
  3. Scottish romances are ‘new’ to me, I have read just about everything and anything I can get my hands on ‘regency’ but never seemed to read anything Scottish until recently when I read a couple of them and found myself actually liking them – even though there were no Dukes, no Almack’s, no house parties… for me, it was the passion in everything (loving, fighting and everything inbetween) that they say and do and the lack of ‘rules’ governing everything they do….basically for all the opposite reasons I love regency period!

    Reply
  4. Scottish romances are ‘new’ to me, I have read just about everything and anything I can get my hands on ‘regency’ but never seemed to read anything Scottish until recently when I read a couple of them and found myself actually liking them – even though there were no Dukes, no Almack’s, no house parties… for me, it was the passion in everything (loving, fighting and everything inbetween) that they say and do and the lack of ‘rules’ governing everything they do….basically for all the opposite reasons I love regency period!

    Reply
  5. Scottish romances are ‘new’ to me, I have read just about everything and anything I can get my hands on ‘regency’ but never seemed to read anything Scottish until recently when I read a couple of them and found myself actually liking them – even though there were no Dukes, no Almack’s, no house parties… for me, it was the passion in everything (loving, fighting and everything inbetween) that they say and do and the lack of ‘rules’ governing everything they do….basically for all the opposite reasons I love regency period!

    Reply
  6. Susan, I love your books and I am SO glad that you are getting your backlist out in e-format. (That Nina is pretty awesome!) I’m off to buy it right now. . .

    Reply
  7. Susan, I love your books and I am SO glad that you are getting your backlist out in e-format. (That Nina is pretty awesome!) I’m off to buy it right now. . .

    Reply
  8. Susan, I love your books and I am SO glad that you are getting your backlist out in e-format. (That Nina is pretty awesome!) I’m off to buy it right now. . .

    Reply
  9. Susan, I love your books and I am SO glad that you are getting your backlist out in e-format. (That Nina is pretty awesome!) I’m off to buy it right now. . .

    Reply
  10. Susan, I love your books and I am SO glad that you are getting your backlist out in e-format. (That Nina is pretty awesome!) I’m off to buy it right now. . .

    Reply
  11. I do love me some highlanders. There is just something about a man in a kilt that is so sexy! Not quites sure what it is though.

    Reply
  12. I do love me some highlanders. There is just something about a man in a kilt that is so sexy! Not quites sure what it is though.

    Reply
  13. I do love me some highlanders. There is just something about a man in a kilt that is so sexy! Not quites sure what it is though.

    Reply
  14. I do love me some highlanders. There is just something about a man in a kilt that is so sexy! Not quites sure what it is though.

    Reply
  15. I do love me some highlanders. There is just something about a man in a kilt that is so sexy! Not quites sure what it is though.

    Reply
  16. Susan
    What a great post I really enjoyed it. I love Scottish romances there is just something about warriors in kilts and what they will got through to save their heroine and the heroines are such strong women it must have been hard actually living in these times and I do love reading about them.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  17. Susan
    What a great post I really enjoyed it. I love Scottish romances there is just something about warriors in kilts and what they will got through to save their heroine and the heroines are such strong women it must have been hard actually living in these times and I do love reading about them.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  18. Susan
    What a great post I really enjoyed it. I love Scottish romances there is just something about warriors in kilts and what they will got through to save their heroine and the heroines are such strong women it must have been hard actually living in these times and I do love reading about them.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  19. Susan
    What a great post I really enjoyed it. I love Scottish romances there is just something about warriors in kilts and what they will got through to save their heroine and the heroines are such strong women it must have been hard actually living in these times and I do love reading about them.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  20. Susan
    What a great post I really enjoyed it. I love Scottish romances there is just something about warriors in kilts and what they will got through to save their heroine and the heroines are such strong women it must have been hard actually living in these times and I do love reading about them.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  21. I love a good Scottish romance! My fascination with Scottish history comes from my dad, although both of my parents can trace their ancestry to Scotland – Camerons of Lochiel, and Copelends, who reportedly were known as horse theives! LOL! My ancestors (not the horse thieves!) were Covenanters and I love to read their history but there is something special about the Highlands. When I visited there two years ago I tried to soak in as much as I possibly could. My favorite place was the Highland folk park with replicas of what they think Highlander homes looked like at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. The history, the tradition, the drama, the pathos. Even the air in the Highlands seems more thrilling! 🙂 Dh can’t understand my love for bagpipes, but they just seem to be in my blood. 🙂
    So, anyway…um…I like historical Scottish romances! LOL!

    Reply
  22. I love a good Scottish romance! My fascination with Scottish history comes from my dad, although both of my parents can trace their ancestry to Scotland – Camerons of Lochiel, and Copelends, who reportedly were known as horse theives! LOL! My ancestors (not the horse thieves!) were Covenanters and I love to read their history but there is something special about the Highlands. When I visited there two years ago I tried to soak in as much as I possibly could. My favorite place was the Highland folk park with replicas of what they think Highlander homes looked like at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. The history, the tradition, the drama, the pathos. Even the air in the Highlands seems more thrilling! 🙂 Dh can’t understand my love for bagpipes, but they just seem to be in my blood. 🙂
    So, anyway…um…I like historical Scottish romances! LOL!

    Reply
  23. I love a good Scottish romance! My fascination with Scottish history comes from my dad, although both of my parents can trace their ancestry to Scotland – Camerons of Lochiel, and Copelends, who reportedly were known as horse theives! LOL! My ancestors (not the horse thieves!) were Covenanters and I love to read their history but there is something special about the Highlands. When I visited there two years ago I tried to soak in as much as I possibly could. My favorite place was the Highland folk park with replicas of what they think Highlander homes looked like at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. The history, the tradition, the drama, the pathos. Even the air in the Highlands seems more thrilling! 🙂 Dh can’t understand my love for bagpipes, but they just seem to be in my blood. 🙂
    So, anyway…um…I like historical Scottish romances! LOL!

    Reply
  24. I love a good Scottish romance! My fascination with Scottish history comes from my dad, although both of my parents can trace their ancestry to Scotland – Camerons of Lochiel, and Copelends, who reportedly were known as horse theives! LOL! My ancestors (not the horse thieves!) were Covenanters and I love to read their history but there is something special about the Highlands. When I visited there two years ago I tried to soak in as much as I possibly could. My favorite place was the Highland folk park with replicas of what they think Highlander homes looked like at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. The history, the tradition, the drama, the pathos. Even the air in the Highlands seems more thrilling! 🙂 Dh can’t understand my love for bagpipes, but they just seem to be in my blood. 🙂
    So, anyway…um…I like historical Scottish romances! LOL!

    Reply
  25. I love a good Scottish romance! My fascination with Scottish history comes from my dad, although both of my parents can trace their ancestry to Scotland – Camerons of Lochiel, and Copelends, who reportedly were known as horse theives! LOL! My ancestors (not the horse thieves!) were Covenanters and I love to read their history but there is something special about the Highlands. When I visited there two years ago I tried to soak in as much as I possibly could. My favorite place was the Highland folk park with replicas of what they think Highlander homes looked like at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. The history, the tradition, the drama, the pathos. Even the air in the Highlands seems more thrilling! 🙂 Dh can’t understand my love for bagpipes, but they just seem to be in my blood. 🙂
    So, anyway…um…I like historical Scottish romances! LOL!

    Reply
  26. I’ve mentioned before that my mother’s family on both sides is from Scotland and my love for the country goes back to my earliest memories. I was thrilled when I first found romances with Scotland as the background. Then, when I started writing, my first characters were Scots. What could be better? And the research. Oh, best of everything for me.
    ps: I just recently bought a Nook Color (I think you knew that ;o) -) and it took less than 10 seconds to download your book. Awesome! Won’t replace paper for me, but it’s pretty portable and that’s a good thing.

    Reply
  27. I’ve mentioned before that my mother’s family on both sides is from Scotland and my love for the country goes back to my earliest memories. I was thrilled when I first found romances with Scotland as the background. Then, when I started writing, my first characters were Scots. What could be better? And the research. Oh, best of everything for me.
    ps: I just recently bought a Nook Color (I think you knew that ;o) -) and it took less than 10 seconds to download your book. Awesome! Won’t replace paper for me, but it’s pretty portable and that’s a good thing.

    Reply
  28. I’ve mentioned before that my mother’s family on both sides is from Scotland and my love for the country goes back to my earliest memories. I was thrilled when I first found romances with Scotland as the background. Then, when I started writing, my first characters were Scots. What could be better? And the research. Oh, best of everything for me.
    ps: I just recently bought a Nook Color (I think you knew that ;o) -) and it took less than 10 seconds to download your book. Awesome! Won’t replace paper for me, but it’s pretty portable and that’s a good thing.

    Reply
  29. I’ve mentioned before that my mother’s family on both sides is from Scotland and my love for the country goes back to my earliest memories. I was thrilled when I first found romances with Scotland as the background. Then, when I started writing, my first characters were Scots. What could be better? And the research. Oh, best of everything for me.
    ps: I just recently bought a Nook Color (I think you knew that ;o) -) and it took less than 10 seconds to download your book. Awesome! Won’t replace paper for me, but it’s pretty portable and that’s a good thing.

    Reply
  30. I’ve mentioned before that my mother’s family on both sides is from Scotland and my love for the country goes back to my earliest memories. I was thrilled when I first found romances with Scotland as the background. Then, when I started writing, my first characters were Scots. What could be better? And the research. Oh, best of everything for me.
    ps: I just recently bought a Nook Color (I think you knew that ;o) -) and it took less than 10 seconds to download your book. Awesome! Won’t replace paper for me, but it’s pretty portable and that’s a good thing.

    Reply

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