Welcome to my home on the web. You may have noted the mountains in the banner are the misty Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Did you know time traveling Highlanders live there? Curious about the big cat? Florida panther~from the Crimson Storm paranormal novel, Sea Panther.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!



Thank you to my readers for making 2014 such a special year for me.

Wishing you the best in 2015!


~Dawn Marie

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #9

Continuing from last week, Munn, the MacLachlan clan brownie, is meeting with the fae Caitrina...


Available at Amazon for Kindle
and in trade paperback.
 FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Emerald eyes flared. “How would you ken the mind of the fae queen? You are naught but a wee brownie.”

“Stop calling me wee.” Munn glared at the halfling princess. “The queen requested my help once before.”

“And you made a mess of things.” Tall and willowy like most of her kind, Caitrina looked down her pert nose at him. He leaned forward, hands fisted.

“Did not.”

“Did so.” Caitrina pressed a palm against his chest and pushed. He fell back a step, losing balance, but recovering quickly, glared at the faerie.

She had the gall to smile. “Well, if you are so knowledgeable, who are the pawns in the queen’s game?”


Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Spider -- Merry Christmas


Here is a little Christmas story I hope will make you smile…

When I was young, my mother gave me an ornament each Christmas for my hope chest. Remember those? When I moved out of the family home and into an apartment, she made this ornament for my first Christmas tree. Along with the delicate spider ornament came a story:

Once upon a time, far to the north, snowflakes drifted past frosted windows. Inside, a good mother busily cleaned the house, for 'twas Christmas eve. On the morrow, Christmas day, the most wonderful day of the year, the little Christ child would come to bless the house. When she finished, not a speck of dust remained. Even the spiders had fled their cozy corner on the ceiling to hide in the attic.

Beautiful ornaments adorned the Christmas tree. The children gathered round, clasped hands and sang blessed songs. While the family enjoyed the evening festivities, the spiders became frantic, for they couldn't see the tree, nor be present for the Christ child's visit. The oldest and wisest among them suggested they wait until the family slept then sneak below stairs.

At midnight, the house darkened and fell silent. The spiders crept from their hiding place, crept down the stairs, crept to the tree. Delighted with its beauty, they scurried all over the tree, up and down, over and under braches, viewing all the precious decorations.

The spiders loved the Christmas tree. For the remainder of the night, they danced amongst the branches, leaving the needles covered with webs. When the Christ child arrived in the morning to bless the house, he was amazed yet disturbed. He loved the little spiders, for they were God's creatures, but the mother worked hard to make everything perfect and would be disheartened when she saw what the spiders had done.

With love in his heart and a smile on his lips, the Christ child touched the spider webs. The webs sparkled and shined, turning a shimmering silver, like tinsel.

Thus a legend was born: A spider among the Christmas tree decorations brings good fortune.

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament?

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

~Dawn Marie

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #8

Good day. Click HERE for the Winter Wrap-Up blog hop, but I hope you'll read today's sneak peek too.

Munn, the MacLachlan clan brownie, meets with the fae Caitrina...


Available at Amazon for Kindle
and in trade paperback.
 FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Munn whirled onto the Sithichean Sluaigh, the knoll of the fae within the Fir-wood, spinning in tight circles, sucking leaves and other forest debris into the whirlwind surrounding him. Fuel for an all-consuming anger. When the rage petered out, he halted in front of Caitrina in a puff of smoke-infused dust.

The irritating sithiche coughed delicately and, with the flick of a slender wrist, the dust settled on the ground at her feet and dissolved. A wave of a graceful hand, and foliage poked through the velvety green grass, presenting vanilla scented phlox blossoms. Showoff.

She arched an auburn brow and tossed long flowing locks over a shoulder. “What do you want, wee man? Your summons interrupted important machinations.”

“’Tis past time to make the third match.”

Caitrina shrugged. “The queen refuses to reveal the couple’s identities.”

“I ken who they are.” Munn jounced, hardly containing growing excitement.




Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop - #Giveaway - #HopswithHeart : Romance on Christmas Eve


Update: 12/24

And the winners are:

Dawn Marie Hamilton Writes winner - Beaded Holiday Key Chain - Dawn Hagan

The Hop Grand Prize winner - $75 Amazon Gift Card— Stephanie Osborn


Congrats Dawn & Stephanie!!




http://www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com/



Welcome!
to the
Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop












Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday season so step on through the garden gate and spend some time with me and a few of my characters during this festive time of year. Then scroll down to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaways. Merry Christmas!







Available at Amazon for Kindle
and in trade paperback.
 FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Meet Isobell and Archibald from Just in Time for a Highland Christmas. They've unwittingly traveled forward in time from 16th century Scotland to the present day Village of Anderson Creek nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and are having trouble reconciling their differences. Of course, the fae have been interfering and only have until midnight Christmas eve to unite the couple. The deadline is fast approaching. Christmas dinner is over, and Isobell...

~~()~~

“Can we make snow angels?” Scott hollered over bantering voices.

“Yes, please,” Young Iain begged too.

Laurie urged the lads into jackets and the entire family trudged out into the snowy garden. Patrick flicked a switch. Light illuminated the area, making the snow sparkle. The lads fell onto their backs in the snow, waving their arms and legs. The imprints left behind were the images of angels. Laurie made a large one. Patrick’s even larger.

If a once powerful warrior could display a playful side so could she. Isobell dropped onto her back to make an angel of her own. To her utter surprise, Archie threw off his plaide and plopped beside her in naught but his trews and leine. As they spread their arms to make angel wings their fingers touched. Their gazes met. A thrill shot through her.

Archie’s eyes flared. He must have felt it too.

She couldn’t let the moment pass without making one last memory with him. Isobell squeezed his fingers. “Come with me. I ken a special place.”

Archie grabbed his plaide and they slipped away from the others frolicking in the snow. She guided him through the inn’s garden, along the well-trodden woodland trail, through the meadow and into Laurie’s garden and the privacy of the orchid room. Was doubtful the family or guests would visit on this most special of nights—Christmas Eve.

“Why have you brought me here?” he asked.

“Why do you think?” She hoped her smile appeared sensual.

He raised a brow. She pressed against him, grasped his hands and pulled his arms around her, placing them on her bum. His response, a firm squeeze, urged her on. Stretching up onto the balls of her feet, she leaned in and kissed him as sweetly, as passionately, as her heart demanded.

A rough sound erupted from deep within his throat, a growl, a demand, and the kiss intensified into a meeting of mouths and tongues, wet and wild. Isobell’s breath came from Archie and his from her. When the fever calmed, forehead resting against forehead, they gasped for air.

“So, that is your answer, lass?”

“Oh, aye!” She melted against him.

He glanced around the small glass chamber then stepped away. He grabbed a cushion from one of the chairs and tossed it on the floor. Then another and another. Using all the cushions, he made a fine bed.

Archie dropped onto the cushions, tested their comfort then offered an inviting hand. “Join me.”

She fell on knees on the cushions beside him. Suddenly feeling shy, she tentatively touched his smooth cheek. She had no experience seducing a man.

Archibald wrinkled his nose in the sweetest way. “What?”

“You have been with so many other women. I dinnae ken…”

“Nae so many.”

“But Da said—”

“He said a lot of things that were not true. Aye?”

“Aye.” She lowered her gaze embarrassed for having believed all the lies.

Archie slid a palm over her hair and down an arm. “I will be gentle.”

~~()~~

Ahhh. Romance on Christmas eve. So nice. Oh, look, another couple has joined us.


E-book available from Amazon,
Amazon UKApple,
  Smashwords, kobo, and Barnes&Noble.
Trade paperback available
at AmazonBAM, and Barnes&Noble.
Meet Kimberly and Robert from Sea Panther. Kimberly is running from a hit man and has taken a crew position on a yacht, unknowing of the captain's dark secret. Robert is a vampire-shifter looking for a cure. On Christmas eve they sail into New Bern North Carolina and head for the Irish pub in town, and Kimberly...

~~()~~

A drunk banged into the table and broke the steamy spell holding Kimberly and Robert enthralled. She choked on a flat laugh. He cleared his throat.

The awkward moment thickened the air. Made it hard to breathe.

Kimberly twitched her nose. Now would be a good time to find a hidey-hole to crawl into. Perspiration glazed the skin between her breasts. God, her face must be the color of a ripe strawberry.

“I overheard you,” Robert said.

“Did you?” Just great.

“Aye.” His gaze dropped to the tabletop. He picked up a drink stirrer and fiddled with it.

Mesmerized, she watched large fingers nimbly tie the thin strip of plastic into a bowline knot. The naughty image of him using the same knot to tie a silk scarf around her wrists flashed in her mind. Where had that idea come from?

“What the rest of the crew has been trying hard not to tell you is I have a rare blood disease.” Her wayward thought splintered at the unemotional statement of fact.

She gazed into his eyes, searching for something empathetic to say.

“I have to take it easy until my doctors find a donor with the right DNA makeup to help me. That is why I sleep a lot.”

“I’m sorry.” Oh, that sounded lame. Worse yet, she’d been thinking about sex. Kinky sex. My God, what had come over her lately? She’d never thought of having that kind of sex with Jason. Heat rose from toes to face. Thank God Robert couldn’t read minds. She reached for her mug, but it was empty.

“Dance with me?” He grasped her hand.

She nodded, and followed him onto the dance floor. “When they find a donor, will they be able to make you well?”

His eyes clouded. “I hope so.”

So did she.

He tucked her close, held her tight, smooth cheek against the rasp of whiskers, as they swayed with the other couples to the sweet melody of an Irish love song. She embraced hard muscle as she wrapped her arms around him.

How could a virile man like Robert be critically ill?

When the song ended, she pulled away, feeling awkward. He seemed uncomfortable too. They returned to the booth at the same time as the twins.

The moment Robert sat, his cell phone buzzed. He grabbed it from his belt. “Aye.” A dark expression hardened his features. “Do what you can. Tell Colin to be ready to motor out and set sail as soon as we arrive.”

Alarm pinched. Something bad must have happened.

He returned the phone to his belt and pulled her to her feet.

“What’s up?” Davey asked.

“We have trouble.” Robert pushed Kimberly through the crowd toward the back door. Davey and John followed. Once they were out in the night air, Robert answered Davey’s question, “It appears Miss Scot is wanted by the sheriff’s department.”

Kimberly wanted to explain, but he cut her off.

“Colin is stalling the deputies, which will buy us some time but not much. You two…” He directed an intense stare at the twins. “Go to the boat and make ready to cast off on Colin’s order. I will borrow a launch, and we will rendezvous offshore.”

John and Davey disappeared into the shadows.

“Come.” Robert tugged on her arm.

They ran down the back alley away from the Christmas gaiety. By the time they reached the outskirts of town, Kimberly panted for breath. She still hadn’t figured out how to explain the situation. “Captain, I—”

“Just answer one question. Did you break the law?”

“No.” She shook her head with force. “Definitely not.”

“Then you can explain later. Now, we need to hurry.” He led her behind a waterfront hotel. They jogged across the manicured lawn to a private dock with a Zodiac tied to it. Luck was with them. Keys dangled from the ignition.

The inflatable boat raced out into the dark night. When the town with its twinkling lights looked like a miniature holiday village, Robert idled the engine, and they drifted.

“I’m sorry. I’ve done nothing wrong.” Kimberly found it hard to believe the mess that had caught up with her.

~~()~~

Perhaps not the best Christmas eve, but romance is in the air and their happily-ever-after is coming. That is the thing I love about romance novels. There is always a happily-ever-after. Thanks for visiting with me and my characters. Now for a contest...



Dawn Marie's Holiday Giveaway







For a chance to snag one of these lovely holiday key chains crafted by Nicole Laverdure, just leave a comment below with your favorite holiday activity. One name will be drawn after the hop has ended. Good luck!







Grand Prize Giveaway
Thanks for participating in the Winter Warm-Up blog hop. Be sure to check out: Hops with Heart for future blog hops. Now, hop along to some of the other participating blogs...

~Dawn Marie




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #7

Continuing from last week's sneak peek...Archibald has found the devastating remains of a cattle raid committed against his clan and suspects the neighboring Lamont clan with whom a feud has lasted generations.


Available at Amazon for Kindle
and in trade paperback.
 FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Munn’s throat grinding made Archibald stiffen, certain he wouldn’t care for the brownie’s counsel. “Dinnae lecture, wee man.”

“Said naught.” Munn jumped from the horse and marched about the scorched land. “Nae Campbells.” He sniffed the ground, glanced at the overcast sky, and scrunched his nose in distaste. “Nae Lamont warriors.”

He paced, shaking his head and muttering.

Archibald banged a closed fist on his thigh in quick repetition. “Well? If ’tis not Campbells nor Lamonts, who?”

“Renegades.”

“How do you ken such?”

“Just ken.” Munn wrinkled his nose and sniffed again. “Ach, a female.”



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hugs of Hope for Victoria Zak


The romance writers community is reaching out to help Victoria Zak, a sister author and young mother with breast cancer, by holding a silent auction from December 12 at 5:00 pm EST to December 14 at 6:00 pm EST with awesome items up for bid—signed books, gift certificates, jewelry, and much more. Check out the list and follow the link at the top of the listing page to bid...click HERE to view the silent auction items.

My donation is item #37...


Four signed trade paperback books, beaded and beribboned bookmark with sterling silver Florida panther charm, beaded and charmed holiday key chain, assorted swag, chocolate, and Walker shortbread. (US only)

Please join some of your favorite authors on December 12, and 13 on Facebook for a weekend of fun and hope. I'll be hosting the event from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm EST on Saturday December 13th.

~Dawn Marie

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #6

Continuing from last week's sneak peek...Archibald has found the devastating remains of a cattle raid committed against his clan and suspects the neighboring Lamont clan with whom a feud has lasted generations.


Available at Amazon for Kindle
and in trade paperback.
 FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Yet the description of the lad and horse resembled that of another lad who’d daringly crossed MacLachlan land a year ago. At the time, they’d thought him a Campbell, but he could have been anyone. No Campbell, to Archibald’s knowledge, possessed dark hair.

Dark hair reminded him of Lamont’s daughter Isobell, his betrothed, missing for the past year, and brought another dagger slice to an already-damaged heart. Their marriage had been meant to bring an end to the feud and peace to the neighboring clans.

“And you, Isobell, let me guess, you wish to wed Archie.”

She nodded. “Aye. With all my heart.”

Patrick and Isobell’s words from so long ago haunted him, driving the breath from his lungs. What happened to harden her heart against him? Her father claimed she ran away so she wouldn’t be required to wed. Why? They’d been in love. Why would she stay hidden? Could it be she wasn’t in hiding—what if something had happened while she’d been out riding?

“Chief?” Duncan’s voice startled Archibald.

He unclenched his fists and shook off the troubling memory. He would fulfill his vow to find her. Just as soon as he punished those who perpetrated the destruction that lay before him. Failure was unacceptable. The clan’s survival depended on success.



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #5

Continuing from last week's sneak peek...Archibald has found the devastating remains of a cattle raid committed against his clan.


Available at Amazon for 99 cents
until December 1st, or
 FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
“Lamont broke the truce,” Archibald growled, heat flooding his face.

“You cannot be sure ’tis Lamont,” Uncle Donald said. “Could have been Campbell men. Alexander threatened retribution. Should never have angered him by breaking his betrothal to your sister Elspeth.”

One of the injured herdsmen limped forward and dipped his head in respect. “May I speak?”

Archibald nodded though his mind had shifted to strategy.

“There was something odd about one of the reivers—a slight lad who rode a fine beast with more skill than any man I have ever seen. A stallion the color of darkest night. And when the lad’s cap slipped, ach, well, his long hair was like that of a lass and of the darkest night as well.”

Archibald shot a glance at Duncan whose eyebrows rose in question. Could it be the same horse and rider they’d seen last year?



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Release: Ice Maiden by Miriam Newman

Please join me in welcoming guest author, Miriam Newman...

Pre-order from Amazon
for a December 25th release.

When a simple farm girl attracts the notice of the King’s half brother, it leads to a dazzling world of privilege, intrigue, passion and war.

Read an Excerpt:


Snow lay on the ground. It was only first snow, a taste of winter, but enough to let us follow churned-up prints and splotches of blood down the slope towards the beach. That was where our men had made their stand. I saw that the ships that had brought us supplies had been roped together to make a great floating platform and put out to sea away from the beach to intercept ships coming in. A second line—of men—seemed to have been deployed on the beach. There were bodies there and in the water with more washing up, and a few ships half sunk in the tide, their sails burned. Everything smelled charred.

There were Havacians and Omanis on the beach, helping the injured—ours, at least. If they were Armatican, that was their last dawn. No one would bring them to us for care.

My lord was easy to spot. He was taller even than most Havacians, and he was unhelmeted. I wondered with a sense of exasperation if he had even bothered to shield his head. That man was born for battle. Probably he had enjoyed it. Son of a general indeed. Now I believed it.

Regardless, I went down to him through small hummocks of bodies and battle gear strewn across snow and sand. All of the women were looking for their men, and now I was one of them.

He was flushed with cold and battle fever, still carrying a gory sword that he plunged into the snow as though cleaning it, but he was not. He didn’t want me to see the blood, but I caught his distinct look of victory touching on defiance as he did it. He was what he was, that look said. Take it or leave it.

This now blood-drenched island was not what I had ever envisioned as a home. He was not the man I’d thought of in my dreams. I had never had much time for dreams, anyway, and I wouldn’t now—there was going to be too much work to do. But I thought now I would do it with him.


Pre-order HERE


Meet the Author:



Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been Miriam’s passion for as long as she can remember. She was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. She brings that background to her writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where she nurtures her muse. Her published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently she lives in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can view her books at www.miriamnewman.com.

Do you have questions, for Ms. Newman? Please leave a comment.


Ms. Newman will gift the original book in the series, The King's Daughter, to one commenter. 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #4

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas has released. Read the prologue HERE. Then continue with this week's Sneak Peek...

Available at Amazon for 99 cents,
 or FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
Voices raised in anger startled a foraging wren. The disparate normalcy within the scene of devastation struck Archibald in the chest, constricting muscle. Legs planted wide, he pounded a fist against his thigh. This had happened too often in the past year.

“Were all the cattle stolen?” he managed to ask through gritted teeth.

“Aye. I have failed you.” The head herdsmen hung his head.

“Nae.” Archibald squeezed the man’s shoulder, offering solace. He couldn’t allow the man to accept fault for his inability as clan chief to protect his people and livestock. Rage choked him, and he swallowed hard. “Fires still burn. They cannot have gotten far.”

He grabbed his reins, anxious to give chase. The horse shied, rearing, sensing his agitation, yet the damn brunaidh remained steady where he stood on the beast's rump. Although a mere three feet tall, the MacLachlan clan brownie possessed oversized hands and feet. Feet that allowed for good balance.

Arms crossed over chest, muscles aquiver, Munn clenched a permanently wrinkled forehead even tighter and eyed the devastation from his superior position. The unusual blue-green of his eyes smoldered. Evidence of the wee man's ire caused Archibald's fury to flame hotter. This was the third raid in a fortnight. If they couldn't capture the thieves and recover the stolen cattle, the clan would be hard-pressed to survive winter.



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Release Day! Just in Time for a Highland Christmas -- Read the Prologue

I'm very excited to announce the release of my new holiday novella from the Highland Gardens series, Just in Time for a Highland Christmas...

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas
A Highland Gardens Novella
Book #2.5


e-Book available from Amazon
for an introductory 99 pennies
until December 1st.

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan's enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas, a Scottish historical time travel romance, is 101 pages of Highlanders, scheming faeries, a mischievous brownie, magic, adventure, and romance set in 16th century Scotland and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Read the prologue... 


Fir-wood, Strathlachlan, Scotland, 1511

They weren’t alone on the land. Branches rustled and cracked, the sound amplified by moist Highland air. Archibald signaled the men to silence.

A lone rider broke from an adjacent clump of trees, glanced around, then galloped through the amber grass, leaning low against the stallion's black neck. The slight figure looked over a shoulder once before darting into the wood at the far edge of the meadow and disappearing through autumnal foliage.

Archibald released a loud hiss. The path the fool had taken at risk to both horse and rider was nothing more than a narrow game trail, a dangerous track to approach at such speed.

“Ach, that ragged lad rides well,” the redheaded Duncan exclaimed.

Archibald eased back in the saddle and threw his cousin a sideways glance. "He rides a fine piece of horseflesh, I grant you that. He is likely one of the Campbell's rash, young grandsons."

“Without guards, and on MacLachlan land? Nae Campbell would dress in such tatters.”

Duncan's aghast expression brought a smile along with a forgotten memory to Archibald. As green lads, he and his twin brother Patrick had dressed in servants’ castoff garments and snuck away from Castle Lachlan for a jaunt in the Fir-wood. They later received a memorable scalping when Da caught them roaming about without escort.

“Must be a Campbell lad unaware of the border to our land. I am sure he will feel his father's disfavor across his backside before this day is through. That is, if he avoids breaking his neck first.”

“Aye. For a fact, Chief.” Duncan laughed. A hearty sound that never failed to cheer Archibald.

Poor lad. Duncan braved his temper on this frustrating journey. He'd owe the man a boon upon their return to Castle Lachlan after they fetched Archibald’s bride.

“Let us be on our way, I want my lady ensconced within our keep before winter sets in.”

He reined his horse to the left toward the more traveled trail through the Fir-wood, eager to reach Toward Keep, the stronghold of the Lamonts. Duncan rode at his side as captain while the rest of the Lèine-chneas, his hand chosen guard, followed a short distance behind.

The image of laughing violet eyes urged Archibald to a faster pace. He couldn't wait to hold the raven-haired Isobell in his arms again, inhale her intoxicating scent, caress her ivory skin, and kiss her pouty lips.

* * *

The sun set on the horizon. Crimson colors faded to mauve, a beautiful end to the day after its wet and trying start. Isobell Lamont spurred her horse to greater speed. She would escape the dictates of her overbearing father, even if she might die in so doing.

Her aunt in Glasgow would surely hide her, if Isobell avoided capture. Before she reached the burgh, however, she must cross the land of her unwanted MacLachlan betrothed, the hated Campbells, and other clans she didn't ken. She reveled in the knowledge her journey might be fraught with peril.

She'd always dreamt of doing something truly adventurous.

The doing is never as grand as the dream. With a shake of the head, she ignored the nagging voice admonishing her and rode into the wind, the scent of fir in the air and an invigorating chill on her cheeks.

After risking discovery by crossing yet another open meadow, she eased the reins and sought the wood. Thank the good Lord the weather had cleared. She coaxed Dealanach Dubh into the shelter of a thick cluster of firs and slid from the stallion's massive back.

“Good lad,” she crooned as she patted his sweaty flank, a horsy odor prickling her nose.

Isobell's stomach rumbled. Should have raided the larder before running off in a rage. Dealanach Dubh could graze on the sparse grasses, but what could she eat? Would she never learn to think before reacting to Da in anger?

She'd needed to escape, though, before Archibald MacLachlan arrived to fetch her. She wouldn't marry her clan’s enemy even if she once thought herself in love with the man. It didn’t matter that his once-beloved silver eyes, cleft chin, and chestnut hair still haunted her dreams, or that the thought of his warrior’s body made her feel achy. She squeezed her eyes tight, refusing to shed a tear over a man who wasn’t what she once believed him to be. Grrrr. And Da intended to force her hand. He’d signed the betrothal agreement with the blessing of the king, giving her no choice but to run away. What had changed Da’s mind?

She jerked her eyes open and stared off into the wood. For the past year, he’d raged about the evils perpetrated by Archibald and his clan. She couldn’t wed such a despicable man even if Da changed his mind and thought the match a good one. The men's plans would come to naught. She leaned against a large tree and smiled. Soon she would be in Glasgow, away from their schemes.

Wrapped within the false security of the dense trees, men's voices startled her. Everything within stilled. What have I stumbled upon?

After tying Dealanach Dubh to a branch, she crept closer to the voices, taking care to stay well hidden in the trees. In a wee clearing, a group of ratty men sat around a fire deep in discussion. She worried her bottom lip. Had she inadvertently stumbled into grave danger?

A sudden change in wind direction blew acrid wood smoke into her face. She sniffled, wrinkled her nose, and when she suppressed a sneeze, sagged against a tree in relief.

Gloaming was upon them, and Isobell strained to better see the men. Reprobates all. She started to scoot away— Wait. She recognized a few of them. Lamont warriors who’d left the clan in disgrace and, if rumors were true, taken up with Da’s banished henchman Malcolm Maclay. The warriors must have joined this band of ruffians after Maclay died during a fight with one of Archibald’s men.

She leaned forward to better hear the conversation. Perhaps glean something of import.

Most of their words were spoken in muttered whispers. With a frown, she edged closer, but then had second thoughts. Now would be a good time to leave before they learned of her presence. Too late. One man rose and paced toward her hiding place. Isobell fingered the dirk in her belt, ready to flee, but when he strode back to his cohorts, she held position.

“If we raid the MacLachlan encampment on the northeast border, we can make an escape across the disputed land with at least five head,” the man spoke in a deep voice.

Humph. They were planning—

A large hand gripped her shoulder from behind and yanked her around. She froze, breath stuck in her throat, too shocked by the familiar face to pull free her blade.

"What have we here?"


Just in Time for a Highland Christmas available HERE.


~Dawn Marie

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #3

Continuing from last week, here is the third Sneak Peek into my new holiday novella from the Highland Gardens series--Just in Time for a Highland Christmas. Let's meet Isobell...


Available for pre-order
 at Amazon
$0.99 introductory price
The sun set on the horizon. Crimson colors faded to mauve, a beautiful end to the day after its wet and trying start. Isobell Lamont spurred her horse to greater speed. She would escape the dictates of her overbearing father, even if she might die in so doing.

Her aunt in Glasgow would surely hide her, if Isobell avoided capture. Before she reached the burgh, however, she must cross the land of her unwanted MacLachlan betrothed, the hated Campbells, and other clans she didn't ken. She reveled in the knowledge her journey might be fraught with peril. She'd always dreamt of doing something truly adventurous.

The doing is never as grand as the dream. With a shake of the head, she ignored the nagging voice admonishing her and rode into the wind, the scent of fir in the air and an invigorating chill on her cheeks.

After risking discovery by crossing yet another open meadow, she eased the reins and sought the wood. Thank the good Lord the weather had cleared. She coaxed Dealanach Dubh into the shelter of a thick cluster of firs and slid from the stallion's massive back.

“Good lad,” she crooned as she patted his sweaty flank, a horsy odor prickling her nose.

Isobell's stomach rumbled. Should have raided the larder before running off in a rage. Dealanach Dubh could graze on the sparse grasses, but what could she eat? Would she never learn to think before reacting to Da in anger?



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #2

Continuing from last week, here is the second Sneak Peek into my new holiday novella from the Highland Gardens series--Just in Time for a Highland Christmas...


Available for pre-order
 at Amazon
$0.99 introductory price
Duncan's aghast expression brought a smile along with a forgotten memory to Archibald. As green lads, he and his twin brother Patrick had dressed in servants’ castoff garments and snuck away from Castle Lachlan for a jaunt in the Fir-wood. They later received a memorable scalping when Da caught them roaming about without escort.

“Must be a Campbell lad unaware of the border to our land. I am sure he will feel his father's disfavor across his backside before this day is through. That is, if he avoids breaking his neck first.”

“Aye. For a fact, Chief.” Duncan laughed. A hearty sound that never failed to cheer Archibald.

Poor lad. Duncan braved his temper on this frustrating journey. He'd owe the man a boon upon their return to Castle Lachlan after they fetched Archibald’s bride. “Let us be on our way, I want my lady ensconced within our keep before winter sets in.”

He reined his horse to the left toward the more traveled trail through the Fir-wood, eager to reach Toward Keep, the stronghold of the Lamonts. Duncan rode at his side as captain while the rest of the Lèine-chneas, his hand chosen guard, followed a short distance behind.

The image of laughing violet eyes urged Archibald to a faster pace. He couldn't wait to hold the raven-haired Isobell in his arms again, inhale her intoxicating scent, caress her ivory skin, and kiss her pouty lips.



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just in Time for a Highland Christmas #1

I'm very excited to share the first Sneak Peek into my new holiday novella from the Highland Gardens series. The opening lines from Just in Time for a Highland Christmas...


Available for pre-order
 at Amazon
$0.99 introductory price
They weren’t alone on the land. Branches rustled and cracked, the sound amplified by moist Highland air. Archibald signaled the men to silence.

A lone rider broke from an adjacent clump of trees, glanced around, then galloped through the amber grass, leaning low against the stallion's black neck. The slight figure looked over a shoulder once before darting into the wood at the far edge of the meadow and disappearing through autumnal foliage.

Archibald released a loud hiss. The path the fool had taken at risk to both horse and rider was nothing more than a narrow game trail, a dangerous track to approach at such speed.

“Ach, that ragged lad rides well,” the redheaded Duncan exclaimed.

Archibald eased back in the saddle and threw his cousin a sideways glance. "He rides a fine piece of horseflesh, I grant you that. He is likely one of the Campbell's rash, young grandsons."

“Without guards, and on MacLachlan land? Nae Campbell would dress in such tatters.”



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas ----- Available for Pre-order

Available for Pre-order at Amazon
$0.99 Introductory Price

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

A Highland Gardens Novella - Book # 2.5

Release - November 20, 2014

 Pre-order Now

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan's enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?


~Dawn Marie

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Paranormal Romance Howloween Blog Hop - #Giveaway - #HopswithHeart

Update 11/3
And the Winners:
Blog Prize--e-book copy of Sea Panther: Mary Frances Roya
Grand Prize--$50 Amazon Gift Card: Janet Haselden
 

 
www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com


Welcome to the Paranormal Romance Howloween blog hop. I so enjoy this time of year. We keep a lit ceramic jack-o-lantern that I made years ago in the window for the month of October. On Halloween evening, we play spooky music through speakers to the front yard. Last year, I dressed as a witch to handout treats to the kids. I'll do the same this year. And my husband plans to join me, sporting the mask from V for Vendetta. Should be fun.


One of the kids who visited last year asked if I was dressed as a vampire. I guess my goth-look witch costume can also pass for a vampire. Do you like vampire stories? Shapeshifters? How about a Highlander transformed into a vampire / Florida panther shifter?


Can love mend a fractured soul?

E-book available from Amazon,
Amazon UKApple,
  Smashwords, kobo, and Barnes&Noble.
Trade paperback available
at Amazon, BAM, and Barnes&Noble.
After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain's crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She's lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly's blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther's heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.


The simple act of returning the woman’s scarf had taken a dangerous turn when their fingers touched. Robert managed to control the vampire by sheer will alone. Nonetheless, the power surge coursing through his veins from the brief contact with the lass awakened the panther. He barely made it to the tall grass on the outskirts of town before being claimed by the transformation.

He chose not to fight the change. He welcomed it with every fiber of his being.

Heart raced. Blood throbbed at his temples and a tortured curse escaped his lips. He discarded his garments and clenched his teeth. Muscles ripped and tendons snapped and bones distorted to conform to the panther’s shape. Coarse golden fur tipped with a reddish tinge rippled over bare skin, making him quiver with urgency.

Nostrils flared, he sniffed the salty breeze. There would be precious few moments for his pleasure before the beast seized complete control.

He darted through the salt marsh, paws sinking into moist earth. His growl sounded out a soul-wrenching lament on the injustice of his life. Robert couldn’t shake the feminine image of the tall graceful woman with brown curls and haunted chocolate eyes. The desire to mate shook him to the core.

Far from the trappings of civilization, he slowed to a rhythmic lope. He hoped no one found the tracks. The headlines would be sensational.

Big Cats Return to South Jersey

Cougar Tracks Sighted in Cape May County

On closer inspection, a zoologist would recognize the smaller pawprints and attribute them to the Florida panther, Puma concolor coryi. Researchers would bombard the foundation with inquiries. His secret would be in jeopardy.

The panther reared its full power and forced away Robert’s human thoughts.

A raccoon moving through the reeds caught his keen gaze. He pounced on the prey. Yet on the fringes of consciousness remained the unquenched desire for his mate.



Sea Panther Giveaway

Here is your chance to receive a gift e-book copy of Sea Panther (Kindle or Nook). Just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite Halloween activity. I'll draw one name after the hop has ended. Good luck!



Grand Prize Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for participating in the Paranormal Romance Halloween blog hop. Be sure to check out: Hops with Heart for future blog hops. Now, hop along to some of the other participating blogs...




Monday, October 20, 2014

Cover Reveal - 'Just in Time for a Highland Christmas'

**Release - November 20, 2014**

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas
A Highland Gardens Novella - Book # 2.5


Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan's enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?


~Dawn Marie

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

I was asked this week if Caitrina and Douglas will have a book. Oh, yes. But there will be a couple of more books in the series before they can have their happily-ever-after. So here is a Caitrina and Doughlas excerpt from Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon...


E-book:
Amazon Amazon UK,
KoboSmashwordsApple,
and Barnes&Noble.

Trade Paperback:
AmazonBAM, and
Barnes&Noble.
Planning to go to the field to see the hunky contestants toss the caber, Caitrina slid off the huge rock on which she’d been sitting. At the edge of her vision, Douglas MacKinnon walked through the Celtic Grove where her favorite band just finished performing.

She stopped and stood motionless.

At six foot seven, the man was hard to miss. What was he up to? Why wasn’t he at his store where he belonged, doing whatever work human shopkeepers were supposed to do?

Caitrina cloaked herself with the glamour of invisibility.

Such an annoyance. She’d only meant to come forward in time for a moment. Get what she needed and return to the past and Castle Lachlan. But the tribal beats of the entertainers’ drums lured her to the grove and kept her longer in the twenty-first century than she’d intended.

Douglas was another distraction she could ill afford.



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sneak Peek Sunday #SPeekSunday: Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

Caitrina is the banished, halfling faerie princess from the Highland Gardens series so, just for fun, today's Sneak Peek is another Caitrina excerpt from Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon...


E-book:
Amazon Amazon UK,
KoboSmashwordsApple,
and Barnes&Noble.

Trade Paperback:
AmazonBAM, and
Barnes&Noble.
Caitrina appeared in the largest of the caverns in the maze of caves and tunnels northwest of Castle Carrick. Her nose twitched. The stench of sulfur lingered in the air, though Seumus wasn’t present. The wizard had deserted his lair.

She’d missed the opportunity to battle with the squirrelly old man.

Scanning the chamber, she found the table in the center contained the remnants of his attempts to unlock the power of Finn’s claymore. Her claymore.

Drip. Drip. Drip. The echo from the constant drip of water scraped over Caitrina’s nerves. She picked up the jar closest to her and hurled it. Glass shattered against rough stone, splintering, flying in every direction. Thick orange goo oozed along the walls.

That felt good. She stretched her back and picked up a small crock, and threw it across the chamber. Every container on the table met the same fate. When she finished, Caitrina glared at the debris, causing sparks to erupt. As she dissolved into a fine mist, consuming flames spread across the chamber, devouring everything in their path.

Traveling through the void of space, Caitrina sent out her senses to probe for the whereabouts of the wizard and the claymore.



Thanks for stopping by!


For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below.

Click HERE
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.



~Dawn Marie