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, February 22, 2017

Excerpt Wednesday - Gathering of the Clans - Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon by Dawn Marie Hamilton

This week's except is from the second novel in the Highland Gardens time travel series. Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. Finn attends the gathering of the clans...

Entering the meadow from the wooded camping area, Finn stopped for a moment to take in the view. The spectacle of colorful clan tents impressed, but the sight of Grandfather’s summit as a backdrop to the festival grounds was humbling indeed. The bronze light of the setting sun played across the old man’s features. Nature at her awe-inspiring best.

Finn crossed the running track and found Laurie and Patrick, their baby daughter, and their two, wild toddlers. The twins, Scott and Young Iain, ran around the picnic blanket, playing warrior with wooden swords. They were cute boys, and Finn enjoyed hanging with them. Someday he hoped to have a couple kids of his own.

Geez. He needed to forget his problems and find out what had Laurie so tense when she picked him up at the airport. He feared bad memories had surfaced, and she had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now wasn’t the right time to ask questions though. Tomorrow he’d sit her down and find out what was going on in her head.

He saw red every time he thought of what was done to her. He unclenched his fists and inhaled a deep, calming breath.

By the time he ate and settled on the blanket, it was almost dark. The torchlight ceremony would soon begin. When Laurie managed to get the boys quieted down, Scott came over and climbed onto Finn’s lap.

“Having fun?”

“Em hmm.” The boy leaned back, and his small body relaxed.

Finn tousled the imp’s blond curls, inhaling the lad’s rough and tumble little-boy scent. Stubby fingers gripped his shirt, and his heart squeezed. He glanced at Laurie holding her daughter, leaning against Patrick, Young Iain curled on his father’s lap. This was what Finn craved, a harmonious family life—here in these mountains.

If only the woman from my dreams was real. He sighed heavily and pushed that impossible wish out of his mind.

Darkness fell and the ceremony began. A deep voice came across the loud speaker, explaining the historic significance of the torch ceremony.

“The saltire cross of Saint Andrew is recognized as Scotland’s ancient symbol. Tonight, we call the clans to rendezvous as our ancestors were once summoned to battle.”

The speaker fell silent…

His voice thundered. “Raise the Clans.”

Chills played along Finn’s spine, as one by one, the resonant voice called the names. “Anderson… Armstrong… Baird… Barcley… Bell… Bruce…” As he called each clan’s name, a representing member crossed the field, carrying a lit torch to add to the fiery cross of flames in the center of the field.


Finn leapt to his feet, hugging the excited Scott to his chest. Laurie and Patrick joined them along with Young Iain. They all screamed as loud as they could, jumping up and down. They did the same again, a few minutes later, when the call was for Clan MacLachlan.

“Life or Death!” Patrick yelled the MacLachlan battle cry, his fist extended in the air.

After they sat, Scott climbed off Finn’s lap to go to his mother. Finn distinctly felt the loss, a barren place in the center of his chest. He rubbed his palm over the spot. He’d better get himself in-gear and find a woman who could love him. Undoubtedly, the task would be difficult.

The curse he choked on came from deep within the aching void near his heart. He wanted to have children and be young enough to enjoy rough housing with his boys. At thirty-six, he was past the age when he should have started a family, and he wasn’t getting any younger.

He swallowed, targeting his attention on the clan emissaries walking across the field and the rich baritone coming from the loudspeakers.

“Stewart… Sutherland… Turnbull… Wallace… Young.”

“The clans have come once again to celebrate who they are,” the speaker called out when the last torch was set.

The torches burned brightly. The haunting sounds of pipes filled the air.

Finn experienced a sense of belonging he never imagined. A feeling of rightness.

The abundance of twinkling stars overhead added to the magic.

Patrick broke the spell when he nudged Finn while attempting to gather up the twins and their belongings.

“I’ll help you carry this stuff to your car.” Finn bent and picked up the picnic basket.

As they walked along the path toward the parking lot, Laurie grabbed his arm. The beam from his flashlight bobbed crazily across the ground. “I hope you didn’t forget my garden party is tonight at eleven,” she said.

He nodded with a grunt.

“I expect you to be there on time and to still be in costume. And for heaven sakes, please be nice to Jillian.”

Finn groaned, and Patrick snorted.



Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

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Hope you enjoyed this wee snippet from Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, a Highland Gardens Novel.

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Excerpt Wednesday - Just Beyond the Garden Gate by Dawn Marie Hamilton

This week's except is from the novel that started the series. Just Beyond the Garden Gate, the first tale in the Highland Gardens series. e-Book on sale now through February 21 for a mere 99 pennies...

Laurie worried her bottom lip. She’d spent the afternoon in the great hall with only Alexander Campbell as companion. They sat before a glowing fire in chairs with soft sapphire cushions. Patrick left her in the other man’s care after placing a fur across her lap for warmth. He’d given her a kiss and went off to find the priest.

She shifted her weight on the cushion. Although Patrick corroborated her story, she doubted Alexander believed she came from France. Elspeth’s fiancé made her nervous. He had the tendency to ask probing questions she couldn’t answer.

Whenever Alexander was alone with her, he watched her with his all-too-knowing stare. “You ken there are many legends about the caves of the gray women.” He stared at her as a scientist would an insect under a microscope. As if, he wanted to learn her every secret.

“I’m sure,” she said softly.

“Countless tales of witches and strange happenings.”

Laurie frowned. The caves were eerie. “There was an old, gnarled woman in the cave with me. Did you find her when you rescued me?”

That was stupid. When would she learn to keep her mouth shut? Each time she spoke, she encouraged him.

“Nae. Nary a soul was there besides you. Everyone else disappeared into the blasted fog.”

Laurie rubbed her hand along the fur in her lap, the sensation comforting. “The old woman came often to tend my wounds. Although there was something unusual about her, she treated me kindly.”

“Mayhap she was one of the infamous gray women—the witches of the caves.” Alexander’s eyes twinkled as if he teased. Still Laurie sensed something else, something unnerving.

She continued to stroke the fur. “No, I don’t think so. Yet it was quite odd, actually. There was something very queer about her. She had the most intense green eyes. I’d the strangest sense I knew her before, but in a different form, as someone else. The idea was disconcerting.”

Alexander had a knack for getting her to say things she didn’t want to say, confide her deepest thoughts, voice her fears.

“The woman who came to enlist us in aiding you was verra beautiful with exquisite green eyes.” He watched Laurie closely. “She told us her name was Caitrina.”

“Caitrina?” Laurie gasped, unable to conceal her shock.

“Aye. You ken her?”

“No.” She shook her head. She couldn’t admit it. How would she explain Caitrina? She couldn’t tell a medieval man she believed in faeries. Or that Caitrina was a faerie from the twenty-first century.



Just Beyond the Garden Gate

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Hope you enjoyed this wee snippet from Just Beyond the Garden Gate, a Highland Gardens Novel.

~Dawn Marie

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Just Wait For Me -- Finalist in the 2017 Scéal Award Contest

I'm tickled pink and so very honored to share that Just Wait For Me is a finalist in the 2017 Scéal Award Contest at Books & Benches for Otherworldly Romance, which includes paranormal, fantasy, and time travel romance. A huge thank you to Books & Benches and Nicole Laverdure!

~Dawn Marie

Friday, February 10, 2017

Just Beyond the Garden Gate: e-Books on Sale Now through February 21 #99cents


Have you read the Highland Gardens time travel series? Now is a great time to start. The first tale in the series is on sale for a mere 99 pennies. Available at:
The Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time. On occasion, so do mere mortals.

Determined to regain her royal status, a banished faerie princess accepts a challenge from the High-Queen of the Fae to unite an unlikely couple while the clan brownie attempts to thwart her.

Passion ignites when a faerie-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard through the garden gate, back through time, and into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn’t know what to make of the lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch she wears as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared.

With the fae interfering at every opportunity, the couple must learn to trust one another while they battle an enemy clan, expose a traitor within their midst and discover the true fate of the missing parents. Can they learn the most important truth—love transcends time?

Journey from the lush gardens of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the Scottish Highlands of 1509 with Just Beyond the Garden Gate.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Excerpt Wednesday - Just Wait For Me by Dawn Marie Hamilton

This week's except is from my most recent release, the fourth tale (third novel), from the Highland Gardens time travel series. Just Wait For Me. Available as an e-book and in print. I opened the paperback to a random page--the opening of Chapter Eighteen...

Castle Lachlan wasn’t as large, nor perhaps as lavishly adorned as Dunoon Castle, but as Jillian stepped over the threshold into the great hall, something within her warmed to the place. Made her feel comfortable. Tension in her shoulders eased. This was a home. Men and women and children dressed in colorful tartans of red and green with yellow crossed the stone floor covered here and there by woven rush mats, greeting one and other cheerfully as they went about their business. Several acknowledged her with a tentative smile, showing only mild curiosity, then continued on their way. Much different from the audible whispers exchanged behind raised hands at Dunoon.

“Come and sit by the fire. You must be exhausted from your travels. I am eager to hear of them.” Lady Isobell directed her to a grouping of chairs before a hearth taller than Stephen by more than a foot, and wide enough that several men could stand within. A welcoming fire burned with a crackle and pop.

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…sexual 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.


Just Wait For Me

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Hope you enjoyed this wee snippet from Just Wait For Me, a Highland Gardens Novel.

~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Excerpt Wednesday - Sword Practice - Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon by Dawn Marie Hamilton

This week's except is from the second novel in the Highland Gardens time travel series. Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon. Finn practices swordplay with Patrick...

Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Village of Anderson Creek
Finn inhaled deeply. His lungs filled with fresh mountain air. For the first time in months, he was free of fawning women. Free of the awkward position they put him in.

Patrick’s sword sliced past his face, drawing him from his thoughts. Rain streamed over his bare chest, mixing with sweat. He needed to pay attention. If he weren’t more careful, he’d do a face-plant in the mud.

“You fight like a lass, MacIntyre,” Patrick taunted.

“Hilt is slippery.” Finn cursed under his breath and sought a better grip.

“You must learn to fight under every circumstance. That includes rain. Could save your miserable life someday.”

Grunting, Finn barely ducked the next assault.

Patrick pulled back. “Enough!” He dropped the point of his claymore to the ground and scowled. “’Tis obvious you are not paying attention.”

Trying to catch his breath, Finn gulped air. He glared at his cousin-in-law. “This is supposed to be just for fun.”

“Ach, then. You must try harder to have fun, lad.” Humor lit Patrick’s blue eyes, and he unloosed the leather strip holding back his long chestnut hair. Patrick MacLachlan was a primitive man; to him a workout with the large two-handed sword was child’s play. “At times I forget we live in a modern world.”

Finn shook his head. “You are my fiercest opponent.”



Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

Amazon : Barnes&Noble : Apple



Hope you enjoyed this wee snippet from Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, a Highland Gardens Novel.

~Dawn Marie