Tartan Day is a day to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 at Arbroath Abbey, in Scotland. The abbey’s red sandstone ruins still stand, and what occurred inside its walls stands proud. Today, the residents of Scotland celebrate all that is good about their small country. As an American, I also celebrate Scottish history, culture, and legacy every 6th of April.
If I could travel to Scotland this week, I would enjoy the various events such as a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath; the massed bands and bagpipe concerts called a Tattoo; or Highland games.
Were you aware that Americans of Scottish descent played an important role in the growth of the United States? Even before we were a country, John Hancock, the first signer of America’s Declaration of Independence, was Scottish. More recently, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is a Scottish-American. My own American Clan MacBean, descendents of John Bean of Exeter, claim astronaut Alan Bean (the 4th person to walk on the moon) among our Scottish-American heroes. Men and women such as these famous people contributed to the fields of law, the arts, and more, which is why Americans who claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish roots celebrate on Tartan Day, April 6th, 2015.
Scottish Americans are encouraged to wear their modern kilts or ancient plaids anywhere and everywhere. Many communities host parades, Highland games or festivals, or special church services. Tartan Day is the unofficial start of the Highland games season. As we head into spring and summer, the chance to wear Highland attire and shop the various clothing, souvenir, and food vendors is something my family and I look forward to. In fact, ideas collected while at various Highland games helped me create the following books:
My Honorable Highlander-Bk#1 Highland Games Through Time
My Banished Highlander-Bk#2 Highland Games Through Time
My Reluctant Highlander-Bk#3 Highland Games Through Time
My Lady Highlander-Bk#1 Kilted Athletes Through Time
My Dark Highlander-Bk#2 Kilted Athletes Through Time
Excerpt from My Honorable Highlander, recently released in AUDIO!
“Well, well, well. What have we here?”
The calm, gravelly voice settled like a heavy block of ice upon Kirk’s ears. His beast pranced in the mud, its hot breath steaming. Kirk’s fingers tingled as he clenched the hilt of his sword, raised it high, and pointed his weapon at the heart of the man dressed head to toe in black to match his hair and beard.
“Lord Marcas Mackenzie. As I live and breathe.”
“Not for long.”
“I hoped to avoid ye on this trip.” Kirk shook the hood from his head.
“How lucky for me, then. I should have recognized that head of hair at once. How convenient it shall match the dried blood soon covering your corpse.”
Battle ready, Kirk squinted in the low light. A sneer pulled at his scar. Pain gripped him, but he shook it off. Raw hate muddied his vision as he beheld the vile monster responsible for the death of his lover. The same man who had scarred his flesh.
“I see my handiwork remains.” With a cry that startled even Kirk’s well-trained beast, the man known as The Mackenzie attacked. He swung his long sword at Kirk’s shoulder. Both weapons collided and rent the sky with the shriek of metal on metal. Their warrior cries joined the clamor of shouts, curses, and thunder.
An edgy euphoria washed over Kirk’s limbs as the battle intensified. He had trained for battles since big enough to hold a weapon. White-hot lightning threatened death and destruction to all within earshot, but Kirk did not care, even when a bolt slashed between them and hit the wet earth at their mount’s hooves. Mud and rocks flew outward as heat and steam sizzled skyward. Both beasts reared.
An acrid smell filled Kirk’s nostrils, and his eyes stung. Frosty raindrops threatened to blind him again. A roar erupted from deep within as Kirk’s vision wavered and his limbs grew heavy. Before he could determine whether The Mackenzie had struck a mortal blow, or that a bolt of lightning had found its mark, sounds of battle and dying men faded.
Waving his sword in a defensive semicircle, he returned his attention to where his archenemy and steed last stood. He wiped hair and rain from his forehead with the back of his left hand expecting to come away bloody, but his vision cleared enough to see nothing but mist. The Mackenzie had disappeared into the thickening fog.
In his stead, a hazy cloud bubbled up between the earth and sky. Colors swirled and danced inside its borders then coalesced into a female form. As the curvaceous image solidified, his heart lurched. Something about this creature called to him.
Bumbling present day herbalist, Haven MacKay, gets more than she bargains for when her love spell goes awry, is cast back in time, and meets her true love — Laird Kirkwall Gunn.
Kirk’s plans go slightly off course when he falls in love with a woman wandering through the Scottish Highlands. After all, he has pledged to marry another, from an enemy clan, in order to end a century-old feud.
Buy Links for My Honorable Highlander on Audio
(Links for my other book can be found on my blog or website)
More About Nancy Lee Badger
Award-winning author Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread and wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander. Her stories tempt you with the clang of
broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.
In celebration of her first Audio Book release of My Honorable Highlander, Nancy Lee Badger is giving away FREE DOWNLOAD CODES from Audible.com to THREE lucky readers. Winners will be announced April 8th