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? Read about them in the Highland Gardens series. Curious about the big cat? Florida panther~from the Crimson Storm paranormal novel, Sea Panther.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Excerpt Wednesday - Making Snow Angels - Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Since I'm getting in the mood for Christmas here is an excerpt from Just in Time for a Highland Christmas...

During dinner Archie’s thigh kept brushing hers, and she bit the inside of her lip to avoid reaching over and touching him. Otherwise, dinner became a jovial affair of great food and good conversation, ending with pastry and a hot drink called coffee.
Delectable food and drink—more reasons to remain in this time. If only she could convince Archie to stay too. She rubbed moist palms on her jeans. He would never forgive her. And he wasn’t staying.
“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.”


Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Just in Time for a Highland Christmas, a Highland Gardens Novella.

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas at Amazon.

At Barnes & Noble.

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Excerpt Wednesday - Jillian Meets Isobell - Just Wait For Me by Dawn Marie Hamilton

An excerpt from Just Wait For Me where Jillian meets Isobell from Just in Time for a Highland Christmas...

The raven-haired beauty dropped to a green velvet-cushioned chair and propped her legs on a small embroidered footstool with a heavy sigh of relief. The skirting of her purple gown hiked up, providing Jillian a glimpse of a pair of very modern-looking Fair Isle knit leg warmers made with synthetic fibers. Certainly not of the time period.
“I have recently given birth to a fine son.” Lady Isobell’s smile glowed with happiness. “My ankles and hands still swell on occasion.”
Jillian shut an open mouth with a snap.
When the other woman noticed where Jillian stared, she smirked. “Do you like my leg warmers? They were a gift from my mother-in-law, Mairi, when we visited my husband’s family in a place called Anderson Creek a couple of Christmases ago. Have you heard of it?”
“Uh…yeah. I live there, Lady Isobell.”
“No need for formality. Please. Just Isobell. I am sure we will become bosom friends.” Isobell beamed. “Do you ken the MacLachlans? Mairi and Iain? Patrick and Laurie? Elspeth and Finn?”
“I know them all. Laurie is my business partner. We own Foxgloves Garden Center along with our friend Caitrina.”
“Ah. That explains much.” The woman’s violet eyes brightened. “I have fond memories of the orchid room.”
“Yes. It’s lovely. Full of color, especially in winter.” This was all too bizarre. Had she fallen into a 1960’s episode of Twilight Zone?
“And so verra warm.” Isobell fanned herself as if the memories made her hot.
“The orchid room has state of the art environmental controls encouraging peak performance from the plants.”
“The plants? Oh, aye, they are nice. And the cushions are verra comfortable, if you understand my meaning.”
“Oh.” Jillian raised both eyebrows. Had the woman and her husband used the orchid room for a…an encounter? Obviously, based on the suggestive expression Isobell wore.
She patted Jillian’s arm. “Now, you must tell me all about my niece and nephews. I miss the wee bairns terribly. It has been some time since we visited.”
“You make it sound so normal. Time traveling, that is.” Jillian swallowed uneasily.
“Far from normal, but I have come to terms with fae activity since marrying Archibald, having our wee adventure, and living at Castle Lachlan.”
“It boggles my mind.” Jillian looked beyond her hostess to scan the hall, wondering what happened to Stephen and the children. Not seeing them, she returned her attention to Isobell. “You mentioned the faerie knoll. Is that how you traveled back and forth from…” Jillian glanced around again to see if anyone listened to their conversation. No one seemed to pay them any mind. “Anderson Creek?”
“Oh, aye. But only once. According to my father-in-law, a person can only travel through the portal once in each direction. Our faerie knoll sent us to Laurie’s garden then the garden gate returned us to the knoll.”
“That isn’t how I came to be here.”
“Nae? Do tell.”
Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Just Wait For Me, a Highland Gardens Novel.

Just Wait For Me at Amazon.

At Barnes & Noble.

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Excerpt Wednesday ~ Jillian and Stephen in the Waterfall's Pool ~ Just Wait For Me by Dawn Marie Hamilton

This excerpt from Just Wait For Me has been edited for inclusion here and is a follow up to the excerpt posted last Wednesday...

Stephen held his breath, not moving a muscle. How could he make his presence known without spooking the lass?
After the shock of seeing her in the chamber where he slept, he’d rudely exposed his ugliness. Guilt tearing at him, he hurried as best he could on his crutch to the falls. He’d hobbled deep into the pool, taking a seat in the shadows, allowing the warm water to wash over his stiff shoulders. The muscle aches and ever-gnawing pain in his leg lessened.
Time suspended, though he didn’t sleep. With a warrior’s alertness, he sensed the moment she entered the chamber. Why would he feel such a connection to this woman from the future? Like Lady Laurie, that’s who she must be.
“I know you’re there. Show yourself.” Her voice trembled.
Loath to cause more distress, he slowly leaned forward, out of the shadows, not far from where she sat. “I am here.”
She jerked her gaze to him, eyes wide.
“I did not wish to disturb you.”
“You saw me undress,” she accused, her sweet lips curving into a comely scowl.
He held the urge to smile at bay. He’d enjoyed the show immensely, especially the teasing stretch exposing the curve of her back. The silky garments she wore left little to the imagination. Her shapely hips lovely. Her skin ivory perfection. The need to touch her almost more than he could endure.
He cleared his throat, hoping she wouldn’t hear the lust in his voice. “I am sorry. I should have made my presence known, but I did not want you to run off before the fae waters healed your hands.”
“I’m not afraid of you.”
“You should not be.”
“Well, I’m not.”
The silence became awkward. Stephen groped for something to say. “You said your name is Jillian?”
“Mine is Stephen. Stephen MacEwen.”
She smiled. More silence.
Of a sudden, Jillian jerked her feet up onto the shelf where she sat. Wrapping arms tightly around her legs, she stared into the water with a frown.
“What is wrong?” Stephen asked, sliding closer.
“Something brushed over my feet. Are their snakes in the water?”
Her horrified expression made him chuckle. “Nae. Just wee toothless fish.”
“Oh. Like the garra rufa that nibble away dead skin from your feet when you get a fish pedicure at one of the fancy spas in Asheville.”
“I dinnae ken about that, but the fish in this pool will not hurt you.”
She dropped her feet deeper into the water and smiled. “Tickles.”
“Aye. Does.” He sounded like the village idiot.
“I’m lost. The children told me the Gray Women would help me find my way to a phone or to a town where I could call my brother, but they keep disappearing. Do you know where I can go to make a call?”
“The women come and go. Mysteriously.”
“Why are you here?”
“To heal.”
“What happened?”
“Ach. ’Tis a long story.”
“You’re Scottish. Right? You sound a lot like my business partner’s husband, Patrick MacLachlan. He’s originally from Scotland.” She shook her head, making her braid bob. “Of course, you wouldn’t know him. Sorry. I tend to ramble when I’m nervous.”
“I dinnae wish to make you uncomfortable.” She kenned Patrick!
She smiled, and Stephen had to rub an achy spot near his heart. He didn’t ken whether it was because she affected him so or because she kenned Patrick. He missed his cousin terribly.
Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Just Wait For Me, a Highland Gardens Novel.

Just Wait For Me at Amazon.

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Excerpt Wednesday ~ Jillian Visits the Cave Waterfalls ~ Just Wait For Me by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Smoo Cave - Inspiration for the Caves of the Gray Women.

This excerpt from  Just Wait For Me is from Jillian's visit to the Caves of the Gray Women. She scraped her hands raw while entering the caves...

“Come. A soak in the pool will put things to rights.”

The woman led Jillian through the same tunnel the man had taken, past several off-shoots, torches set in metal holders embedded in the walls lit the way. The air became warmer and moist and the sound of running water louder as they walked. Finally, the shaft opened to another chamber.

Wow! A powerful waterfall plunged from a hole in the stone ceiling at least seventy-five feet above their heads. Sunlight glistened on wet walls and where the water cascaded into a subterranean pool that took up most of the chamber.

“Bathe. ’Twill heal your hands.”

Jillian drew back. “Are you crazy? The water must be freezing.”

“Nae. Hot water bubbles from the earth and the cold water from the waterfall makes the pool perfect for bathing and healing what ails you. ’Tis fae magic.”

Jillian’s hands stung like hell and the pool was inviting. What would it hurt to soak for a bit? Perhaps daydream about the hot blond man.

She squatted near the edge and stuck a couple fingers into the water—perfect temperature. “Okay.” She turned to face the woman, but the woman had gone.

Somewhat unsettled, Jillian glanced around. Although light came in from the hole in the ceiling, shadows played over most of the cave. Where the illumination was strongest, toweling and a small jar with an ornate bronze lid sat on a niche in the wall. She opened the lid, brought the jar to her nose and sniffed. Heather blossoms. Must be soap.

She wasn’t making any headway in getting unlost, yet perhaps she could spare a few minutes for a relaxing soak. She dropped her pack on the floor and kicked off her bike shoes. Careful of her sore hands, she slid the fleece leggings over her hips and stepped out of them. Then extending her arms toward the ceiling in a needed stretch, slowly arched her back, and cracked her spine while tugging off the fleece pullover. Dressed in bike shorts and a t-shirt, she glanced at the water. She didn’t want to get her shorts and top wet so she stripped to her bikini briefs and sports bra and folded her clothing on the pack. Making quick work of braiding her hair, she used an elastic from around her wrist to secure it then stepped into the water. Nice.

She carefully walked deeper into the pool, dragging bloodied hands through the water. The stinging eased. Sand squished between her toes. The pool deepened then became shallower as she walked toward the far wall, covered in green moss and small plants. Finding a ledge, she sat. Water rose over her breasts. Ahh! Heaven. With the warm water and gentle mist from the waterfall soothing her nerves, she leaned back and relaxed.

She must have dozed. Something jolted her awake. She sensed she wasn’t alone. A short distance away, water spilled over the edge of the pool and trickled into a stream that ran under a stalactite curtain wall. No one seemed to be there. She held still, sure someone was in the cave with her.

“Who’s there?”
Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Just Wait For Me, a Highland Gardens Novel.

Just Wait For Me at Amazon.

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Excerpt Wednesday : A Haircut For a Highlander : Just Wait For Me by Dawn Marie Hamilton

This excerpt from Just Wait For Me has been edited for posting here. A haircut for a Highlander...

They reached the bedchamber, and he sought something to distract his lady. The bathing alcove’s curtain hung open, and his gaze lit on the table containing a bowl, razor, and scissor. He should look his best when arriving in Jillian’s future time.

“Lass, might I ask a favor?”

“Of course.”

“Would you be so kind as to trim my hair and shave my beard? I could summon a ghilllie, but would prefer your gentle touch.”

That put a smile on Jillian’s lips as he intended. “I’ve often done the same for my brother. His hair and beard have never been quite as long as yours though.”

“So you cannot handle this mess,” he teased.

“I think I can manage. Sit.” She shoved him onto a chair near the grooming table. He dropped the plaide from his shoulder and tugged off his leine, tossing the garment aside, his chest bared to his lady.

She arched a feminine brow. “You sure you only want a haircut?”

“Aye. And much more later.” He winked.

Jillian smiled and slipped nimble fingers through his hair, kneading the scalp, sensitizing the flesh with the tips of her nails. He leaned into the sensual touch. A thrill spiraled down his spine, pooling low in his gut, making him want so much more. He choked on an abrupt intake of breath.

She laughed, well aware of her effect on him.

Perhaps he did want more sooner. He hadn’t meant for her to incite his sexual desires so quickly, yet his ploy had worked. His lady’s sweet chuckles lightened his heart. She nae longer seemed overcome with fearsome thoughts of the sheriff. Stephen shifted his weight on the chair. Would be hard to sit still with her so close, with her touch driving him mad, but he would make the effort to keep a rein on his urges for her sake. Besides, dragging out this moment of intimacy would make their lovemaking all the more urgent and fulfilling later.

Jillian detangled his hair then picked up the scissor. Stepping close, one leg positioned between his legs and the other to the side, her gown brushed over his thigh. He felt her warmth as she moved in tight and cut a lock of hair. She dropped it to the stone floor then moved in snug for another snip. Breasts at eye level, he could do naught but stare. He moistened suddenly parched lips. Her husky laugh made him harder. Needier.

Clip. Clip. Hair dropped to the floor at his feet. With each snip, she moved, rubbing against him,  causing pleasure-pain, driving him to the edge of tolerance.

“Are you okay? You seem to be breathing quite hard.”

“I am fine,” he gritted through clenched teeth. His desire for her would be the death of him.

She trimmed his hair and then beard, taunting him with each swish of her hips. When finished, she set the scissor aside and collected the container of soap with brush. She moved behind him out of sight. Then she stepped in close and cushioned his head against her bosom.

The lathered soap prickled bare skin and softened his whiskers. When Jillian put the blade to his throat, he inhaled sharply.

“I’ll be careful. If you hold still, I won’t cut you.”

“I dinnae fear such. It is just…” He searched for the right words to explain his feelings, yet fell short. “You have come to mean much to me, lass. I thank you.”

Jillian blushed. “And you mean much to me.”

Their gazes held for a heartbeat, and then Jillian proceeded to work on his beard. The rasp of the blade, her scent, her heart beating so near, her body moving against his, left him breathless. The intimacy of the moment touched him deeply, softened his heart. Life with Jillian would be good. Days and nights filled with tender love.

When finished with the task, she handed him a cloth and set the razor on the table then stood away, appraising her handiwork. “You look like a modern man.”

He shot her a grin before wiping his face and tossing the cloth aside. “Come here.”

She sidled close, and Stephen wrapped his arms around her waist determined to offer gentleness this night. He guided her onto his lap. She leaned against his chest, dropping her head onto a shoulder. She remained quiet within his embrace for several heartbeats.

“I’m scared,” she murmured.

“I ken. Dinnae fash yourself. We will get through this.” He brushed her lips with his—a whisper-soft kiss.

A heavy knocking at the door startled them both, and Jillian jumped away, alarm returning to her beloved features.
Hope you enjoyed this wee excerpt from Just Wait For Me, a Highland Gardens Novel.

Just Wait For Me at Amazon.

~Dawn Marie