Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday



In the aftermath of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's first birthday - sweeping up confetti, popped balloons, frosting smears and spilt champagne I realize that this Sunday had been a day of firsts. TLoLM first birthday, first Amazon promo, first time that 3,000 people met TLoLM in a 24 hour period, and the first time The Legend of Lady MacLaoch has seen a best sellers list. As in ranked #12 on Amazon's bestsellers list. . . OMG!!!!!!

Yes, Sunday The Legend of Lady MacLaoch climbed up the rankings and ended the day at #12. And for those of you who are savvy with Amazon ranking you're wondering what categories because 50 Shades of Dumb has been sitting its fat ass at #1, 2, 3 for the last decade - whoops, did I say that?? - so here's the category: Romance>Historical. We flirted with the Top 100 list (this is ALL of Amazon's promo books, think hundreds of thousands) at #131.

Anyway, it was a fun little adventure and is pure awesome to have so many new readers!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday The Legend of Lady MacLaoch!



As you saw on Wednesday's post, today is the day that The Legend of Lady MacLaoch was birthed into the literary world. It's amazing that it has been a whole year since Rowan and Cole ran away with our hearts and adventurous spirits. A year since Kelly and his pops got what they deserved. A full year since "the cabin scene" made women across the US grin with glee and say, "Finally!!" And in this last year we've seen it awarded with 5-star reviews over and over again, including winning the prestigious "Top Pick" award from Night Owl Reviews.

As a special treat to mark the one year anniversary of its debut I'm gifting The Legend of Lady MacLaoch to you to share with your friends.


Today only (May 27th), The Legend of Lady MacLaoch ebook is free from Amazon.


Happy 1st birthday to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch and thank you to all the loyal readers who've made it a special one!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday

This Sunday, download The Legend of Lady MacLaoch for FREE on your Kindle. 

Sunday, May 27th | The Legend of Lady MacLaoch | FREE

As far as birthday celebrations go I feel like the one year mark is a pretty awesome one. It's the moment you realize that it's been a complete twelve months since you embarked on a life starting journey. This Sunday, May 27th marks the one year anniversary of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's birth into the world.

With the celebratory occasion of turning one I thought we'd go a little crazy and just give away the book for a day. Yup, I'm gonna give the book away as a party favor to the world. There is a catch though. First you have to make sure you're on the guest list. Only those with a Kindle (or Kindle app!) are allowed into this party - yeah, it's one of THOSE parties. ;0) Then as you head over to the Kindle store on Amazon you have to sing happy birthday to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch (the singing is important!). Then simply download. Easy. Like cake!

So mark your calendars Sunday (May 27th) from 12AM to 11:59PM The Legend of Lady MacLaoch will be FREE on the Kindle. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Poetry Monday

Mossgiel farm painted by William Findlay Watson. Photo credit: National Galleries Scotland
It's poetry Monday again here at the blog and we're diving into my favorite book again, The Best Laid Schemes, Selected Poetry and Prose of Robert Burns.

This poem it seems was initially written as a song in 1794 while Robert Burns was at his family's farm in Mossgiel.


O Leave Novels

O leave novels, ye Mauchline belles, 
Ye're safer at your spinning wheel; 
Such witching books, are baited hooks
For rakish rooks like Rob Mossgiel.
Your fine Tom Jones And Grandisons
They make your youthful fancies reel
They heat your brains, and fire your veins
And then you're prey for Rob Mossgiel. 

Beware a tongue that's smoothly hung;
A heart that warmly seems to feel;
That feelin heart but acks* a part, 
'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.
The frank address, the soft caress, 
Are worse than poisoned darts of steel, 
The frank address, and politesse, 
Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel.

* acts


Mauchline belles were supposedly a group of women that Robert knew in Mauchline the town next to his farm at Mossgiel. One of the women in that group (Jean Armour) he knocked up and eventually married, although her father forbade it. This was most likely because Robert put the cart before the horse, although it could have been because Robert's mother's servant gave birth to his first child, just before Jean became pregnant.  Wikipedia has a great little bit on this:

[Robert Burn's] casual love affairs did not endear him to the elders of the local kirk and created for him a reputation amongst his neighbours for dissoluteness. His first child, Elizabeth Paton Burns (1785–1817), was born to his mother's servant, Elizabeth Paton (1760-circa 1799) while he was embarking on a relationship with Jean Armour, who became pregnant with twins in March 1786 ... Although Armour's father initially forbade it, they were eventually married in 1788.[5]

So, anyone willing to speculate on who Rob Mossgiel is?  ;0)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday

The Stor, Isle of Skye from WikiCommons.

As I begin the final slog through the peer review as well as my own edits to the latest manuscript, Forged I'm acutely reminded of what lies ahead from my experience with The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. In many ways I'm worse off this time around because I know what lies ahead. I know that I'm in the analytical phase of the manuscript where I tear apart the reasons for placing "the" in the particular place that I did, and whether or not to remove it or keep it for flow. Everything is questioned, gone are the days of blind happy creativity where I place words upon the paper and look at them lovingly, and feel as if I've created something truly great and entertaining. In it's place is, "why the hell did I say that?" "What's the point of him wrapping his hand around her thigh? Shouldn't he grasp her instead?"

With The Legend of Lady MacLaoch I had no idea how long getting the manuscript out would take, it was like being on a 600 mile journey thinking the end was just around the next corner. I do have to say that with this iteration of manuscript publishing I have more time, expectations are more realistic and almost leisurely. Almost.

While this might be The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's posting day, I do want to update everyone who is waiting with baited breath for Forged. Currently it is looking like a release in September will be quite doable, once it is back from the first round of editing from the pros I'll be announcing a release date and final cover reveal. At that point y'all will be able to run to Goodreads and put it on your TBR list!! WOOOHOOO!!

Now back to editing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Le Beach

I'm baaaaaaaack!! Yesterday's poetry monday was on vacation - apologies to all those who were hanging around waiting for their weekly dose of prose to discover that it was never coming. I am sorry and hope that you are able to sleep better tonight with the poetic list of pictures I'm about to force upon you. 

The past four days had me luxuriating on the coast of Oregon in a fluke of warm southern california type weather. And as a Maui girl, I'll tell you there were a couple moments where I could close my eyes and it felt like I was home again. Bliss!! 

So without further ado - PHOTOS!!! 

View the first night in Oceanside, OR fr our deck.
Tidepools! At Agate beach.
Mr. Starfish in said tidepool
Olivine crystal washed and buffed smooth within rock. Cool!
Lighthouse! Still works too. 
Last sunset - beautiful!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday: Kilts



Kilts are the most notorious thing of Celtic culture, the butt but of Scottish jokes and make women weep with joy when a handsome kilted man meets a stiff breeze. Today I had high hopes of tackling the history of the kilt as well as the importance of clan tartans and when they really became a symbol of clan allegiance. But then I realized that a picture is worth a thousand words. So first some photos.

Rugby players warming their hands.

A modern day clan chief.

Pure Scots.

The luscious Gerard Butler catching a breeze.


An interesting tidbit of information that I want to pass along regarding the tartan (clan plaid) is that it wasn't until some time in the 1800's that they became a symbol of a particular clan. We've all heard the stories of the local weavers weaving with the wool and local dies (plants native to their particular region of Scotland) and it's those colors that eventually became distinguishing features of the people that resided in those regions (not necessarily a clan). A great overview of the history of the tartan is at Wikipedia. Here's an excerpt:

The Dress Act of 1746 attempted to bring the warrior clans under government control by banning the tartan and other aspects of Gaelic culture. When the law was repealed in 1782, it was no longer ordinary Highland dress, but was adopted instead as the symbolic national dress of Scotland. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the highland tartans were associated with regions or districts, rather than by any specific clan. This was because tartan designs were produced by local weavers for local tastes and would tend to make use of the natural dyes available in that area. The patterns were simply different regional checked-cloth patterns, where of the tartans most to one's liking - in the same way as people nowadays choose what colours and patterns they prefer in their clothing. Thus, it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that specific tartans became associated with Scottish clans or Scottish families, or simply institutions who are (or wish to be seen as) associated in some way with a Scottish heritage.[1]

The earliest image of Scottish soldiers wearing tartan, from a woodcut c.1631[11][note 3]
Now that we have dispensed with our lesson, back to the fun. :0)

Surprise!

Sean Connery looking debonaire.

Liam looking every bit the Rob Roy part.

And one final eye candy - a William Lawson's Scotch commercial. Rain, horses, hot men and kilts, need I say more?




Monday, May 7, 2012

Poetry Monday: Black Keys in Concert!!!!!


Today our poetry Monday is being hijacked by song lyrics - truly it's own style of poetry - because tonight I go to see the Black Keys live in concert at the Rose Garden! WOOT!!!!!!!!

Needless to say I'm excited. I'll be taking an hour and a half to get ready, put on my outfit, tear it off, put on another one and repeat the cycle until my husband comes in and points to my t-shirt and shorts from earlier in the day and says, "Just wear that." I'll no doubt exclaim that he has no taste and put the first thing I tried on before rushing out the door in a panic only to get to the concert an hour early. :0)

So in the spirit of The Black Keys I've posted my favorite song off their latest album, El Camino. The song is called Little Black Submarines, though if I ruled the world I'd call it Broken Hearts are Blind.

Little black submarines / Operator please / Put me back on the line / Told my girl I'd be back / Operator please / This is wrecking my mind / Oh, can it be / The voices calling me / They get lost and out of time / I should've seen it glow / But everybody knows / That a broken heart is blind / That a broken heart is blind / Pick you up, let you down / When I wanna go / To a place I can hide / You know me, I had plans / But they just disappeared / To the back of my mind / Oh, can it be / The voices calling me / They get lost and out of time / I should've seen it glow / But everybody knows / That a broken heart is blind / That a broken heart is blind / Treasure maps, falling trees / Operator please / Call me back when it's time / Stolen friends and disease / Operator please / Pass me back to my mind / Oh, can it be / The voices calling me / They get lost and out of time / I should've seen it go / But everybody knows / That a broken heart is blind / That a broken heart is blind / That a broken heart is blind




Sunday, May 6, 2012

Springshere!Springshere!Springshere!!!!



In case you were wondering . . . Spring is here!!! Spring has finally arrived here in the Northwest, the Irises are blooming, the invasive blue bell things are floriferous, roses are peaking out their first colors, and I bought a tomato.

You know it's officially Spring in the Northwest when I show up with a tomato. I take no chances and wait to the last frost (and beyond - just to be safe) before thinking of heat loving plants. This year though I'm doing something different with my tomato plant. I'm only doing one. Gone are the years of four different varieties that all produce 4 measly little fruits. No, this year I purchased one and planted it upside down.

Why is it upside down you might ask? Well, supposedly it'll produce more tomatoes, but anyone with a lick of biology knows that whether it's upside down or upside right the plant will grow upright and it's roots down (has to do with the pull of gravity... if you were wondering). But having it out of the cool soil means that the roots will be warmer, yielding more tomatoes? Let's gamble and say yes. Though my father who's a farmer, no doubt is shaking his head wondering how his daughter got to be such a yahoo. Anyway, I believe that this new setup had better will produce loads of succulent savory heirloom tomatoes before November, I'll even gamble to say that in August I'll be making salsa from it's fruits!  *fingers crossed*

Either way we shall see, I'll post more over the coming months so you can become obsessed with this project too. :0)

THE TOMATO

Spring in mah garden:







Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday: Rowan the Cursed

Photo credit: Pink Lemon Designs

“Aye,” Angus agreed. “When ye see him, he’s nice enough, but ye can see the distance in his eyes, like he’s carrying a burden he cannae unload. . . I’d not want tae be on the other side of a battle from him. He’s got the look of a man who’s seen hell and come back to tell about it.”
Rowan MacLaoch is many things, and counted among being an ex-Royal Air Force pilot and chieftain of the MacLaoch clan he is also cursed. Cursed by a woman who he's never met but shares his blood and her centuries old fate.

In the Year of Our Lord 1211, Scotland

Pain gripped her abdomen in convulsive ripples, telling her she would  not survive to see the morning. Her last breath would be soon—with it, she would accomplish her last wakeful deed in this world. She looked up at the man who possessively held her newborn child, the man she called father and enemy. She spoke the words that reverberated through her soul, as if they were pulled from the very earth, full of power and purpose.
I curse ye, Father. I curse the ground beneath yer feet, the air ye breathe, the blood within yer veins, and the seed ye spill upon this earth. May ye die having felt my pain and if ye havenae, may no MacLaoch chieftain ever know love.
Only when they have walked the lonely halls of despair will I bestow upon them a peace I once held long ago, and then only for a moment. I will feast upon yer pain and drink the anguish of this curse until the one who calls himself chief of the MacLaochs has shared in my anguish. Until then, I will haunt ye and yers every eve and every dawn and all time in between, forever.

Rowan's curse developed over several months while editing The Legend of Lady MacLaoch's manuscript. Like all books they are written, edited, rewritten etc. until the final product is delivered to your bookshelf. In one of those iterations I realized that Rowan's darkness - because he'd had it from the very moment his name was penned on paper - came from something beyond him. It wasn't just from his experiences at war, which were gruesome, but rather something he'd be born with. Something that was passed down to him, something inevitable, haunting, and mythical in power. There is nothing quite like a curse that is handed down from generation to generation and is known by all the townsfolk, who look at you and shake their heads knowingly and sadly, to make a deeply moving darkness in someone. And that was when the curse came to light - if you will.

Rowan, for those of you who've read the novel, know that in the early years he denied the existence of the curse and went along his merry way doing as he pleased until fateful chapter one. It was after that war experience that he realized for the first time that indeed the curse was laid into more than just myth, but rather blood.

Speaking of blood - that is where the details of the curse lie. Rowan is hit hardest with the curse because he is the last of the known MacLaochs descended from the legendary Lady MacLaoch. The blood ties with the pain he experiences and status as chieftain set off, unbeknownst to him, the perfect storm of curse culmination that ends with the massive pyrotechnics scene at the end of the book. Not to mention the one thing he thought he'd never have . . . love.