It's Tartan Day in the USA, when Scotland and the Scots are honored and celebrated for their legacy and heritage and their longstanding and continuing contributions to world culture. My own Scottish roots are through the Fraser clan — some Highland ancestors came over here during the latter part of the Clearances — and shown here is one of the main Fraser tartans. There are several of them, but this sett is based on some of the oldest records (in turn based on some of the oldest portraits), and is used by the Frasers of Lovat, one of the lines of the chief (Clan Fraser traditionally has two chiefs, Lovat and Saltoun by designation).
So here's to the Scots among us, and here's to bonny Scotland!
And this wee person of Fraser heritage has more than one reason to celebrate her Scottish heritage today …
LADY MACBETH is now available in paperback! Let's all dance a quick jig, or more appropriately, a gille chaluim if you happen to have two swords at the ready — cross them on the ground and go to!
Tuesday, April 7, is the release date for the new trade paperback edition of Lady Macbeth from Three Rivers Press. When you're out and about this week, please look for it on bookstore display tables – the new cover design will jump there, I think!
I am granddaughter to a king and daughter to a prince, a wife twice over, a queen as well. I have fought with sword and bow, and struggled fierce to bear my babes into this world. I have loved deeply and hated deeply, too….
"King manages to challenge all our preconceptions without turning the strongest female character in literature into a pantywaist. Her footwork on this fictional ground is sure and graceful." — Bookpage
The new edition contains Reader's Guide questions to give book groups a running start on discussions. Also, the prologue and first chapter of my next book for Crown, QUEEN HEREAFTER: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland, are included as well.
Here's an excerpt of the new book, about the Saxon princess who married Malcolm Canmore and became Queen of Scots…the story is partially told by a female bard in Malcolm's court…
Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland
Anno Domini 1078
Caught between two willful queens, I am, and should have taken more care to tread lightly—like crossing a stream over slippery stones when the current is strong and cold. Now that I have stumbled deep, who can say whether my two queens will forgive me or condemn me for what I have done at each one’s bidding. No servant, I am free to do as I please; they disagree.
I am called Eva the Bard, daughter of a short-lived king. I am also a devoted student of Dermot, once chief bard in Macbeth’s court. Dermot trained me in the ways of a seanachaidh: a thousand songs, a thousand tales, a thousand heroes keenly remembered through ancient ways of diligence, and more. Though I do not know my fate, I know my calling—to tell the old tales and coax melodies from the harp strings to soothe or excite the spirit. Some now accuse me of scheming, but my aim has ever been my craft, and honor. So say I.
The king and queen would order some monk with ink-stained fingers to record my betrayal on parchment, which would crumble over time; the lady in the north would order the account destroyed much sooner. Yet I would compose a song-poem to tell it whole, then take up my harp and sing it to some, who would teach it to others, so it would never be lost.
One queen might call it treason, the other tradition; and I might call it vengeance. . . .
To celebrate the release of the trade paperback of LADY M, I'm giving away an autographed copy of the spectacular new edition! To enter the contest, please leave a comment over the next two days, and answer one or more of these questions:
Do you read medieval-set historicals, and if so, what do you love about that era? Do you read Scottish-set medievals (and for those of you who don't read either – what don't you like about them) ?
We'll choose a random contest winner for the free signed copy of LADY M IN PAPERBACK! 😀