Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Guest Blog - Release Day Blitz Highland Yearning by Dawn Ireland

My new release, Highland Yearning, started as a short story for a friend who had been ill. It was based on one of my favorite movies, “Somewhere In Time.”

In the movie, a man falls in love with a woman in a portrait, then goes back in time to meet her. I changed things a bit, making the portrait-fancier a woman, and of course I give them a “happily ever after.”  I hope you enjoy this short break from reality.

Could you fall in love with a man in a portrait? Ariana stared at the green eyes which seemed to follow her no matter where she went in the Great Room of the castle.  What lunacy had caused her to use every moment of her month-long vacation returning to this place?

Not that she’d spent all her time here. When she hadn’t been lusting after her black-haired Highlander, she’d occupied her time delving deep into his life, combing the castle archives and local libraries for information on him. He’d been known to the world as Laird Robert McKenzie. His was a mystery that had never been solved, for on a full moon in 1795, the laird had disappeared.  

Once again his eyes seemed to beckon, drawing her attention to the life-size portrait.

“You needn’t look at me like that. I have no idea where you’d gone.” Great, now she was talking to him as if he were real. At least it was early morning and no one had braved the castle museum. She’d taken to visiting right when the doors opened so she could spend a few minutes alone with him.

She couldn’t shake the feeling he was trying to tell her something. “Look, if you don’t give me a clue, we may be like this into the next decade.”

At her words, a shaft of light fell across the corner of the portrait. Curious, she stepped closer. The area had crinkled, almost as if the painting were covered in a layer of plastic. She reached out her hand, then paused. They’d arrest her and she’d never see her safe, Upstate New York farm again. Her parents would think their daughter had gone mad.

Maybe she had. But as she stared into the laird’s unnerving eyes, she knew what she had to do. Very gently she pried at the corner and began to peel the covering.

Robert moved.

She stopped, frozen in place, but when he started to struggle she increased her efforts with shaking fingers. In a few minutes he was freed, and he half-fell from the portrait, Ariana backed away and pinched herself. Well that hurt, so she wasn’t asleep.

He regained his footing and straightened, rolling his broad shoulders. His voice held the gravel of someone who hadn’t spoken in a long time, but the sound was rich and full. “For over two hundred years I have waited for a lass who could hear me and break the gypsy’s curse.”

“But I didn’t hear you. “ Ariana’s voice sounded tiny in the vastness of the cavernous room.

“Yes, you did.” He gave her a formal bow, then smiled at her in a way that made every fiber of her being tingle.

His gaze locked on hers and he stepped forward until he was so close she could feel his breath on her forehead, then with a slow hand he brushed the hair back from her face. “You see, I haven’t been waiting for a lass who could hear in the normal fashion. According to the gypsies, only a lass who heard with her heart could free me.” His thumb teased the corner of her mouth as he cupped her cheek. “How are you called?”

She managed a squeak. “Ariana.”

He brought his other hand up and cradled her head, then tipped her face to meet his gaze. “Ariana.” 

Her name came out as a whisper in his Scots burr. “My savior.”

As his lips claimed hers she stopped wondering how this could have happened, and decided she didn’t care. 

Highland Yearning
The Mackay Saga
Dawn Ireland

Genre: Highland Time Travel (set in 1775)

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Date of Publication: July 20th


Number of pages: 249 (pdf)
Word Count: 70,000

Cover Artist: Fiona

Book Description:

Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alone marry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own? 

Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century? 


“Are we done, lassie?” Caden’s voice sounded tight. Almost as if he were speaking through his teeth.
“I guess so.” She turned and leaned back against the rough stone. “We’ve searched all the rooms in this part of the tower.”
“And thanks to you, every person we came across thinks I’m bedding you.”
“Would you rather I let them know we were searching for what they consider to be an imaginary ring?” She inclined her head. “I had to come up with some reason for us to be alone in the upstairs bedrooms.”
“They’ll never truly believe I’d bed a Sutherland.”
Ariel reined in her anger. “Yes, they will. After all, your brother is about to marry a Sutherland.”
He came to within a foot of her. “Nay, he will not.” His tone softened. “Don’t you ken what other men will think of you, lassie?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“They’ll believe they can take liberties, and you’ve no one to protect you.”
“You’re worried about my safety?”
When was the last time someone worried about her? Her heart did a little twist. “That’s sweet, but I can take care of myself.”
“But your reputation—”
“Isn’t a problem. After all, I’m not staying. If anything, you need to worry about your reputation.” She bit her lip to keep from laughing at the mixture of frustration and confusion on his face.
She shook her head. “We left some of those rooms in five or ten minutes. Word could get around that you are . . . shall we say, less than adequate.”

He smiled, amusement crinkling the corners of his eyes. “Then I’d have to prove otherwise to every lassie who questioned it.” His voice lowered and he studied her face. “Would you be wondering about my capabilities?” 

About the Author

“Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favorite words, because she never knows where they will lead. She writes stories to remind herself that even though things may seem bleak, there is always the possibility of a “Happily Ever After.” If along the way she makes readers smile, cry or see the magic in their everyday lives, then she’s done her job.

Dawn’s written several award-winning novels set in Georgian England and the Highlands – an era filled with rules and intrigue. Her characters often defy “Society” as they pursue love, run away, pursue, run away – well, you get the idea.  
Then again, she might write romance in order to do the research. What other profession encourages you to sit in the audience at Harlequin’s Male Model search, and take notes, or just sigh?

When she’s not writing, Dawn may be found singing, gardening, learning to play the harp or wood carving. She lives in a Victorian home in Upstate New York with her husband and very independent cats.

Dawn hopes you’ll read her books, and together you’ll bring to life characters that aren’t perfect, but have a story to tell.

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Dawn Ireland said...

Thank you for all your help, Roxanne! You made release day fun and productive. I couldn't have done it without you:)