I'm proud to welcome Brenda B. Taylor, author of more than one wonderful series. I'm a big fan of her Scottish historical romances. And now, I'll leave the post to Brenda.
I became interested in genealogical research after retirement which led to researching family ancestry. The lives of my ancestors grabbed my interest and curiosity. I researched and traveled to their homes and wrote about those in post-Civil War Missouri and Scotland. I found my Scots Munro ancestor who immigrated from Scotland to North Carolina early in the 19th century. Immediately a story about the adventurous Clan Munro of the Scottish Highlands turned over in my mind. Since historical romance was my favorite genre to read, I crafted romances into the plots of the stories.
The research for the Highland Treasures series was difficult but interesting and exciting. I traveled to Scotland four times for first-hand experience of life in the Scottish Highlands. Scotland’s museums, ancient castles, and other points of interest were filled with historical artifacts. On the first trip, my husband and I traveled from Edinburgh to Inverness in a rented car on the wrong side of the road. What a journey, but we arrived safely at our destination and enjoyed the stay in a lovely bed and breakfast. While there, I noticed an advertisement on the bulletin board for Munro Highland Tours. I immediately got in touch with George Munro, the tour guide. George took us on a beautiful tour of the land called Ferindonald, the clan lands of Clan Munro. He arranged a tour of Foulis Castle, seat of the clan and home to Chief Hector Munro and his family.
The chief’s mother, Mrs. Timmie Munro, took us on a lovely tour of the castle and grounds. I cannot describe the wonderful time my husband and I enjoyed during our first trip to the Scottish Highlands.
While in Inverness we visited the Scotland People’s Center and researched my ancestor, Duncan Munro. I found one entry for Duncan Munro born in Cromarty, Scotland consistent with the time I calculated for his birth. I then assumed Cromarty, on the Black Isle, as the place of Duncan’s home and mentioned the burgh in the three Highland Treasures novels. We also spent time in the Inverness Interactive Museum. While there, I actually donned a great plaide, a man’s garment of old Scotland, which required pleating on the floor, lying down on top, and then belting the plaid around my waist. All three novels in the Highland Treasure series includes a description of wearing a great plaide.
I visited and took photos where possible in Scotland’s National Art Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland while in Edinburgh. Each contained a treasure trove of life in old Scotland. Paintings helped me with the lifestyle in general of the clans—their dress, habits, homes inside and out, and of course the majestic castles, rivers, lochs, and highlands. The experiences and photos assisted me in recreating the rugged life in the 16th century Scottish Highlands.
On the two visits I made with cousins, we attended a Munro gathering with over three hundred Munros from around the world. What fun to meet cousins from the various countries. We found our hosts, the chief and residents of Foulis Castle, to be very interesting folk. They staged games and demonstrations of life in old Scotland. We also enjoyed present day entertainment of Scottish dancers and musicians. Hopefully, another gathering is scheduled for the near future.
George became the tour guide on three subsequent trips to Scotland that I took with cousins. We traveled from the east coast to west and from the farthest northern point on mainland Scotland to the south. Truthfully, I have been all over the country, but haven’t seen everything I wish to visit. Mayhap another trip is in the making.
The Highland Treasures series consists of six books—three novels and three novellas. The novellas tell the story of Davina and Alistair Munro, secondary characters in the series’ second novel, A Highland Ruby. The third and last novella, A Highland Home, is now on pre-order from Amazon.
Plot Summary: Despite intrigue, theft, and murder, Davina and Chief Alistair Munro fashion a home in the Highlands of Scotland with the bond of their faithful love for each other. Cattle reiving plagues the Munro lands of Fàrdach Castle leaving many clan families destitute during the fierce winter. When a faithful servant is slain in the castle stables, Alistair suspects Struan Sutherland, the husband of his former wife, Bridget. The couple controls the chief’s vast inheritance of Contullich Castle and lands through his young son, Blane.
Davina takes Blane under her wing when Alistair brings him to Fàrdach. She and the castle residents grow to love him, but the lad misses his mother. After the slaying of a faithful servant, Blane is kidnapped from Fàrdach and returned to Contullich Castle. With help from within the castle, Alistair takes his son from the Sutherlands. He kills Struan when the angry man demands a duel. Attacks on the Munros stop after Struan’s death, but the cattle must be found and returned to their owners.
While out trying to find the outlaws, a friendly MacKenzie tenant tells the Munros stolen cattle and thieves are located near his steading. Alistair and his warriors hurry to find them. The chief is wounded in a fight and taken to the MacKenzie’s cottage.
Davina learns she is pregnant while her husband is away. With the help of the Lord, she gathers enough courage to carry on and wait for Alistair. Will the chief return to his wife and clan?
Brenda’s Bio: Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.
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Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran