Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying preparing fro the holidays and not running about in a mad dash like me. Every year I say I’m going to plan ahead and every year…well it always seems to get a bit crazy.
To celebrate with you, my friends, I would love to offer a special Christmas gift! I am offering a FREE read of my Highland short story, Highland Christmas Bride! Here's an excerpt for you!
Highlands, December 23, 1361
“We will come to yer aid. We’ve always honored the bonds o’ manrent between our clans.” Gregor Brodie nodded to the laird of the Mackensies. He had responded to the call for help and opened his gates to welcome in his neighboring clan who had run from the attack of Red Rex.
The old laird attempted something of a smile but with his injuries it looked more like a grimace. The old man had two black eyes from where his nose had been broken. He leaned back in a chair across from Brodie on the other side of the hearth where they were discussing strategy in Brodie’s private solar. “Ye’re just as honorable as yer uncle. Ye’ll make as fine a laird as he, no matter what they say about ye.”
Brodie touched the black cloth he kept wrapped around his face so that only his eyes were revealed. He had recently been accepted as laird of Clan Brodie after the death of his uncle, though there were some who had resisted him being accepted as laird. His aunt had accused him of bearing the demon mark and many even in his own clan shied away from him.
“We’ll rid yer home o’ the likes o’ Red Rex,” said Brodie, wishing to change the subject.
Mackensie shook his head. “If ye go after Red Rex, ye best say yer prayers, laddie. I’ve never seen anything like him. He’s a giant of a man. Took on a half dozen men at a time and ploughed them down like a scythe through barley. Ye’re a strong lad but…” the old man coughed and leaned forward, shaking his head. “Ye’d need a miracle to take on Red Rex.”
“Tomorrow is Christmas Eve,” commented Brodie in a more hopeful tone than he felt. “’Tis the season for it.”
“I must speak to Laird Brodie. ‘Tis verra urgent.” An unknown female voice could be heard outside the solar door.
“Nay, ye canna—” exclaimed a ghillie as a young lass burst into the room with a mass of red curls and a sweep of her dark green cape.
Brodie was instantly struck both with the impetuousness of the action and the lady’s undeniable beauty. She looked a bit rough, with homespun clothes and untamed hair, neither of which did much to impress, yet the fire in her eyes, the high cheekbones, and the plump bottom lip all made her appearance appealing.
“What do ye mean by interrupting us, ye ill-mannered harpie,” demanded Laird Mackensie, his indignation helping him to his feet.
“I am so sorry my lords,” exclaimed the harried ghillie. “She was allowed inside the keep because we took her to be a Mackensie, but now she is demanding to speak to Laird Brodie.
“This lass is no Mackensie! The lasses in my clan are better behaved,” claimed the Mackensie.
The tall lass raised her chin, her eyes sparking. “Ye might want to hear me out before ye pass judgement old man.”
“Old man!” roared Laird Macknsie. “Old man!”
“Let me speak wi’ her,” interceded Brodie, not wanting the laird to die of apoplexy.
“Aye, ye deal wi’ this.” Mackensie left with some assistance from the ghillie who offered to lead him back to his clan.
“What do ye want?” asked Brodie from behind his black mask. If she was surprised he kept most of his face hidden, at least she did not cower in fear.
“I have information for the Laird Brodie, are ye him?”
“Aye, I am Laird Brodie. Who is it that asks?”
“I am Kenna.”
“And what clan are ye?” asked Brodie, trying to discern why a young, attractive lass would be wandering about in the frigid cold.
“I’ve no clan.” She bit at her plump lower lip in a manner he found distracting.
“Kenna o’ no clan, I am Gregor Brodie, laird o’ Clan Brodie. What do ye wish to say to me?” He crossed his arms and glared down at her.
“I wish to tell ye that ye’re in danger.”
“And what danger is that?”
“This information is valuable. It…it comes at a cost.” He lass nibbled at his lower lip and her cheeks flushed a rosy hue.
Brodie shook his head at the Highland lass with wild red curls and large green eyes. She would be a beauty if she was not trying to extort money from him. “Ye’ll get no coin from me. Ye can go back from where ye came.” He was about to call for the guards to throw her back outside, but her next words stopped him.
“I’m not asking for yer money.”
Brodie took a step toward her, forcing her to tilt her head up to look him in the eye. Kenna of no clan shifted her feet but held her ground. She was a bold one, he would give her that. “Name yer price.”
To keep ready this short story for free as my special holiday gift, please sign up for my newsletter HERE.
I also have a new Highland book coming out Jan 3, 2017, My Highland Rebel!
A Conquering Hero
Cormac Maclean would rather read than rampage, but his fearsome warlord father demands that he prove himself in war. Cormac chooses what he thinks is an easy target, only to encounter a fiery Highland lass leading a doomed rebellion and swearing revenge on him.
Meets an Unconquerable Heroine
Jyne Cambell is not about to give up her castle without a fight, even though her forces are far outnumbered. She's proud and determined, and Cormac can’t help but be impressed by her devious plots to force him to leave. Soon, his allegiances are as confused as his feelings for the fair Jyne—though he may have captured the castle, it is she who captures his heart.
I wish you all a restful and happy holidays – may you find time to curl up with a good book!