Friday, June 24, 2011

A Highland Wolf in a Kilt!

My guest is author,Terry Spear. She writes Scottish Medieval Romance and paranormal romance.

Terry says, "I've been researching my Scottish and Irish roots for some years now.  Even in my own family there was political intrigue, ties to royalty, romance, and tragedy that inspires me to write medieval stories set in England and Scotland."

I can't say I love all books I've read set in the Highlands, but I understand the allure of reading about the Scots. There is something fiercely proud about highlanders. I'm of Scot decent and proud of my heritage. I know there are some present day Scots who take exception to us Yanks claiming to be Scot.


Being Scot, and a highland Scot, is more than living in the country of Scotland. Many had to leave Scotland for various reasons, but took traditions with them. For example, much of the old Scottish bagpipe music, folk tunes, some of the dances, would have been lost had it not been for the North American Scots who kept those identifying traditions alive in their new homeland. There were no laws here, you see, forbidding the speaking of the language, wearing of the kilts, or playing the bagpipe or having a form of the highland games, as there was in Scotland. 

In Terry's book, The Heart of The Highlander, she gives us a glimpse of that pride and a corrected view that many, even titled ones, are not rich. Some are still struggling to keep family lands. She talks a bit about what drew her to write about Highlanders and her own Scot heritage.

Welcome back to Over Coffee, Terry! 

Many authors write about Highlanders because they catch the romantic imagination. But I write about them because I have roots in the Highlands—the MacNeills and the Campbells and the tragic love story that was carried down from one generation to the next about a commoner MacNeill’s love for the Duke of Argyle’s daughter. Though her father was angry that she would marry beneath her, he offered for the MacNeill to step off as much land as he could in a day’s time, and he could own it. But the MacNeill was too proud and paid for passage to the Carolinas, and her father disowned her.

The ship sailed instead to the largely uninhabited Prince Edward Island, the captain of the ship being the brother of the man who owned a large amount of PEI and needed it settled by order of the king. So the settlers arrived without the tools to build homes and were unprepared to settle the land.

Lady Elizabeth died, unable to weather the harsh conditions, and two of her children, a very young daughter and a son, of whom we are directly descended, were raised by other families who had come over on the ship. And another son was raised maybe by his dad, being that he was a little older.

The Indians living there helped those struggling to survive to catch walruses to live off of until they could build homes and grow their own food.

My great grandmother didn’t think much of Lady Elizabeth for giving up the easy life she could have had, and we might have lived in the castle instead of those who do now. Her daughter, my great aunt, who was a twin of my grandmother, was so enamored with the Highlanders, she married a Scotsman.

At one point, the Duke’s line died out, and Scotland Yard was asked to locate family members who might carry on the dukedom. My great grandmother and great great grandfather were questioned, but no one had the family Bible that would show the family line back that far.

Nowadays, DNA testing could prove it.

So in my story, although I have changed the names and the circumstances, I did add one part that has all to do with the true story of the MacNeills and the Campbells. But with mine, of course, it has a happily ever after!

And a twist. It’s not about ye ol’ regular Highland hunks, but about a clan of Highlanders who are also a pack of gray wolves, and an American red wolf who has an agenda—which has nothing to do with filming a Highland film at Ian MacNeill’s castle. But even Julia Wildthorn, werewolf romance author, doesn’t know what exactly she’s to find hidden in the castle somewhere. And she didn’t know before she arrived that Ian and his clan are werewolves to boot.

Not only does she have the mission of gathering enough information about the clan to write a sexy Highland werewolf novel of her own, sure Ian wouldn’t like it at all, she’s got to find a way to slip into the castle sight unseen and retrieve the family box. But Ian MacNeill is wary about the little red wolf’s reason for being with the film crew. She’s already lied about her name, and her occupation—which makes him wonder if she’s in bed with the enemy’s clan.

He’s already got enough troubles with losing money to a crook that’s caused him to have to open up his castle to this American film venture, but now he looks to be losing much more than sleep over one hot little red wolf.

HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF is the first of the Highland wolf stories, and I hope you love them as much as I loved writing them!

  • Do you have a little bit of history that your family has passed down through the generations that’s fun to share?

One of my Texas friends had a great great grandfather who was hanged for robbing a stagecoach, which resulted in a man dying of a heart attack. Who says genealogy is all birth dates and death dates and boring?

Heart of the Highland Wolf Available now
  My review
Read the first Chapter here (on Amazon) 
Sourcebooks and Amazon is running a kindle special for $2.99 

Buy: e-book or mass paperback. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books a Million 

Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA fromMonmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses.


~Sia McKye~ said...

It's good to have you visiting again, Terry. Since you have the day off, I have a nice comfortable chair, wi-fi, coffee, goodies and if you notice over there on the coffee bar, there is an assortment of chocolate.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I tried commenting earlier, but it looks like it didn't "take"! My daughter is making me take her to the zoo this morning. It's going to be hot, hot, hot! But they have a jaguar, no wolves though, so I'll be sure to take pictures!

I'll drop in again later!!! :) THANKS so much for having me, Sia!!! Off to get ready for the park!

Sharon Sullivan-Craver said...

I loved reading this blog and learning of the geneology. I too am of Scot and Irish heritage along with French and Cherokee. Loved the blurb aboout the book. Thank you for inviting us in.

Nancy said...

Terry, this was the book I have been waiting for! I bought the paperback, read it, and am demanding my dear hubby read it, since he is the guy with 2 kilts and the family history. A great story especially making the clan/pack leader with financial troubles. Different.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, Sharon! A nice mix of heritage! We have the Roux, meaning red haired, in our line too...and in Seduced by the Wolf, the red wolf heroine is a Roux. :)

Thanks so much, Nancy! You'll have to send me a picture of your handsome Scot so I can share him!!! I loved that my coworker gave me the idea for a "poor" werewolf! I just thought it was great and then incorporating the Highland theme, even better! Thanks for loving the story!

diva donna said...

Family history is interesting. Not S EXCITING AS YOURS lADIES. BUT, I had always wished mine had lived in a Castle too. And I was a LOST princess. I grew up not knowing that I had another family out there. My Mother had me at 16 out of wedlock. She married my adopted Father when I was 3. He's the only father I've ever know. I recently discovered my biological roots and other family. And found out my biological Grandfather Anton started one of the first businesses in the Town of Albany, MN. A Blacksmith and Car Assembly Shop and later a Hatchery was added. They came from Prussia. My Biologigal Father Owned a Motel near the Mayo Clinic. It was called the Int'l Hotel. I've heard it had very seedy clientele. And I recently learned my Father Loved To grow Irises. Award winning Iris. Thus my love of gardening, I guess.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Terry, enjoy the zoo. I love the big cats. Usually the first place I head when I visit the zoo.

~Sia McKye~ said...

We have enough kilts in our family to start a pipe band. Oh, wait, we did, but with my brother's death a couple of years ago, I lost interest in playing--I only did tenor drums anyway. But it was something he and I shared. I'll still go and listen to the music.

As for family heritage, a lot of it was done through the years on the paternal side. We have a family tree and records that go back to a hundred years after William the conqueror. We have some Normans in the family tree, too.

My oldest brother, Gary, updated the research for the maternal side. He has more patience with that than me. As the oldest daughter, I have a complete copy of our family tree and records. It's fun to look back and was a hoot to see that Diana Spenser had some of the same ancestors (Scot and English) as we did, lol!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

That's really interesting, Donna! I grew up dreaming I was a lost princess too. Maybe we are sisters??? :) How interesting about your grandfather being from Prussia! I love Irises!! I have some that I special ordered in OK, moved them to TX, but in the last move, I'm afraid I didn't get them. I really want to do that again.

Sia, it was closed!!! I saw a note that said it was closed tomorrow, not today. *sigh* So we saw X-Men instead and enjoyed that. We're going to try for the zoo next week. That's so neat that you had your very own pipe band. I'm sorry to hear about losing your brother. When my dad died, I lost interest in gardening. But I do love it when I have time.

Your family heritage is great! It's wonderful when you can find so much information on them. And see the connections, like you say!!! Hmm, Normans, eh. Guess we'll allow a few in the equation. LOL :) When I wrote Winning the Highlander's Heart, one of the barons that they stay with was a Saxon lord who knew if he fought the Norman William, he'd lose, so he switched sides and fought alongside him and retained his lands.

Anonymous said...

That's cool to have that kind of history. Makes for a great conversation piece and could be put in a book too. Robbing a stage coach. Hanging. Not many people can lay claim to this kind of family history.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Terry, I have to say the historical part of the family is something each generation added. Especially in the earlier times because who your people were, their ties to other families and the court, were very important when deciding who married whom.

There were plenty of Saxons who did that, or married their daughters and sons into families of William's barons.

Kat Sheridan said...

Terry, I expect we are related somewhere along the line. My ancestor was Margaret Tudor, via her second (Scots) husband, Archibald Dougls, the 6th Earl of Angus (her first husband being James IV, King of Scotland).

I love the originality of your story concept, and of course, who can resist a brawny Scot in a plaid kilt? Looking forward to reading this!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Oh, that's too weird. I replied, but it didn't take. Here goes again.

Stephen, I so agree. I think it's too cool to have family history like that. The rogues are much more interesting!

I agree, Sia!!That's what I showed in Winning the Highlander's Heart. It was fun doing the research and adding the true history in the story.

Kat, I'm sure of it! That is so neat! No, we never want to bother even resisting a brawny Scot in a plaid resisting!!! Just enjoy!