Knight in Highland Armor - Highland Dynasty # 1 by Amy Jarecki
Audience: Adult / Genre: Scottish Historical Romance / Formats: E-book and Paperback /Publisher: Rapture Books / Cover by: Kim Killion / Editor: Arran McNichol / Pages: 380 pages / ISBN: 978-1502390295 / ASIN: B00OQT919M / Date Published: Jan1, 2015.
Margaret reached into her purse to pluck a farthing when horse hooves pummeled the ground. Looking up, she scarcely had the chance to dash aside. Two riders thundered through the fete at a brisk canter. She tripped over her gown. The fruit flung from her basket as the horses sped past. Margaret crashed into something sturdy and hard. Her hands whipped around it, saving herself from falling. Her hood flew from her head and dropped to her back. It wasn’t until a pair of massive arms encircled her that she realized she’d fallen into a man—a very large, very strong man. She inhaled. The heady and exotic fragrance of cloves laced with a hint of ginger and male toyed with her insides. Struggling to drag her feet beneath her, Margaret made the mistake of grasping him tighter. His back muscles bulged beneath his quilted doublet. Her heart fluttered. “Forgive me,” she uttered breathlessly. His enormous hands held her shoulders firmly and helped her gain her balance. “Are you all right, m’lady?” Flustered, Margaret pushed away and smoothed her fingers over the white ribbon encircling her crown. She brushed her fingers down the length of her exposed tresses, cascading over her shoulder to her waist. First, her gaze leveled on his red tunic, with a white cross emblazoned on the center of his very broad chest. Then her eyes drifted to his face, framed by dun-colored curls. Beneath his cap, they shone like silk in the sun, and she wanted to reach up and touch them to see if his hair was actually as soft as it looked. Dark brown, wide-set eyes gazed upon her with a glint of humor. They were so friendly, her tension immediately eased. His features were undeniably masculine; his bold nose slightly bent toward full lips that grinned, revealing a row of healthy white teeth. “I…I am unscathed, thank you.” Margaret inhaled a stuttered breath and hoped to heaven she wasn’t blushing. “Please forgive me.” “There is nothing to forgive. Those lads had no business riding through the fair at full tilt. I shall have a firm word with them.” “I’m sure they are long gone…” Margaret peered up at his feathered ermine cap—a fur only worn by Scottish barons like her father. “…m’lord.” She stepped back, taking in the whole picture. She’d seen the square white cross on his tunic somewhere before—it definitely identified him as a knight, though she could not place the order. Unusually tall, he had to be at least eighteen hands—six feet was enormous, especially compared to her five. He wore a stylish doublet of black beneath the sleeveless tunic. His woolen hose were also black, and they clung to his thighs like a second skin. His muscles bulged when he stepped toward her with fashionably pointed shoes. Mmm. ’Tis said clothes maketh the man. He bent down and retrieved her basket. “I believe this is yours.” “Thank you.” Margaret spotted apples and pears scattered everywhere. “But I’m afraid the fruit I’ve purchased is ruined.” He frowned and stroked his bold chin. “Most unfortunate. Please allow me to replace it.” “That should not be necessary. I only wished to help a poor man feed his family.” “Most charitable of you, m’lady.” He offered a polite bow. “If you no longer require my assistance, I shall be on my way.” “Very well. Should I fall again, I shall simply find another gallant knight to keep me from dousing myself in the mud.” “A lucky man indeed to rescue a lady as bonny as you.” He bowed again and tapped his fingers to his hat. “Good day, m’lady.” Margaret swooned, watching him walk away. Broad shoulders supported by a sturdy waist. To her delight, the knight’s doublet was short enough to give her a peek at his muscular buttocks. With a sigh, she smacked her lips while the crowd swallowed up the magnificent warrior’s form. If only her betrothed could be half as handsome. “Margaret,” Mother called from across the aisle. “Come, I have something to show you.” This time, she looked for racing horses before she set out. God forbid she fall into another knight. And heaven help her. On the morrow, she’d have to look upon such magnificent specimens with disinterested eyes. How on earth would she do that?
1. Opening scene with Colin Campbell, Lord of Glenorchy: MOONLIGHT SONATA by Ludwig van Beethoven
2. Introduction to Lady Margaret: FUR ELISE by Ludwig van Beethoven
3. Margaret at the Fete: REGINA – from Medieval & Renaissance Music Album
4. The Wedding Scene: TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR by J.S. Bach
5. Traveling to Kilchurn Castle: BRANDENBERG CONCERTO by J.S. Bach
6. Margaret Plays her Lute: BANCHETTO MUSICAL SUITE NO. 3: Pavane
7. First Passionate Love Scene: NOCTURE IN C# MINOR by Frederic Chopin
8. Margaret realizes she must be strong: THE SELKIE, Celtic Harp Album, Aryeh Frankfurter
9. Colin sails to Rome: FULL RIGGED SHIP, Celtic Harp Album, Aryeh Frankfurter
10. Margaret alone and pregnant at Christmas: MARY DID YOU KNOW, Pentatonix (yay, a modern performance!)
11. Colin’s final battle on Rhodes: BETRAYAL AND DESOLATION, Braveheart Movie Soundtrack
12. The dark moment: ADHAN by Kevin Keller
13. Reunited: DAWN from the Pride and Prejudice 2005 Movie Soundtrack
Colin Campbell, 1st Lord of Glenorchy:
Philosophy on life: Never settle with words what can be accomplished with a broadsword.
Born: 1428. On 1st October, 1432, at the age of fourteen he received the title, Lord of Glenorchy.
Build: Muscular in peak condition
Distinctive features: Dun (dark blond) hair with a darker beard, brown, wide set eyes, bold, angular nose, full lips.
Positive Characteristics: Confident, energetic, truthful, decisive, direct, loyal, protective, supportive, brave. Colin is an exceptional warrior.
Negative Characteristics (at times): Insensitive, domineering, demanding, uncompromising.
A Knight in the Order of St. John (Knight Hospitallers). He went on three crusades and was fabled as The Black Knight of Rome.
Colin is an asserter, and feels in control when he can sit where he can observe everything going on in a room. He has a hard outer shell; he’s tough driving, and an introvert. After losing two wives, Colin proves he has a soul, but will Margaret discover he also has a heart?
Margaret Robinson of Struan, Daughter of Baron and 4th Chieftain of Struan. Raised at Dunalasdair Castle on Loch Rannoch.
Philosophy on life: Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and you might survive.
Distinctive features: Green, almond shaped eyes, long chestnut hair, beautiful skin.
Positive Characteristics: Energetic, efficient, optimistic, industrious, self-propelled, practical, empowering, competent, responsible.
Negative Characteristics (at times): Self-centered, pretentious, overly competitive, defensive.
Margaret can withdraw when angry, but otherwise, she has a delightfully magnetic personality. She’s well educated for the times, and very sharp. She’s always setting new goals for herself, but prefers to avoid confrontation when possible. Youthful, Margaret is full of ideals, and loves visiting court where she can observe gentlemen in their finery—especially when wearing fashionably short doublets.
Our Author Interview
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
If I were Lord Colin, I would have given Lady Margaret more of a chance in the beginning. I was so overcome with grief from the death of my former wife, I couldn’t see that life was giving me a second chance.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
I spent the month of May, 2013 in Scotland looking for my next series. I found it in the ruins of Kilchurn Castle with the legend of Colin Campbell, the Black Knight of Rome.
Why did you become a writer?
I’ve always written. I write because I love to tell stories and it gives me a chance to experience ages past.
Do you have a favorite author or authors?
Oh yes. I like Monica McCarty, Tessa Dare, Dan Brown, Suzanne Collins, Wilbur Smith and Patricia Cornwell to name a few!
Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?
Yes. Highland Dynasty is a four-book series (so far). Starting with Knight in Highland Armor, a book will come out every 2 months in 2015.
If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?
I think it would be Calum MacLeod from Captured by the Pirate Laird, because he’s a Scotsman and a pirate. That’s got to be a dynamite combination.
What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?
Honestly, I read a lot of non-fiction because I’m always studying for the next book. I do like historical novels with a lot of action/adventure. That’s one reason I really like Monica McCarty. She uses a number of accurate historical facts, a lot of action and some steamy romance in her Highland Guard Series.
As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that?
Oh yes, I love hearing from my fans and interacting with them, and I do read my reviews. I’m very active on Facebook and Twitter, and I send out a newsletter when announcing new books. Actually, I do a lot of giveaways just for my newsletter subscribers (you can find the signup on my website: www.amyjarecki.com).
Do you cry when writing sad scenes?
Did you have a Cover Designer?
Absolutely—Kim Killion. My cover designer is awesome, and there is no way I could produce cover art as good as Kim’s.
Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush?
Ha! You mean I can only have one?
If you were able to dine and have a one on one
with your favorite writer/author who would it be?
Hmm. That’s a difficult question as well. I think it would be Monica McCarty because she is awesome.
Do just re-read your favorite books?
Never. I don’t have that much time and there are so many books I want to read!
Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?
I don’t think so. If I’m reading a book that’s moving too slow for me, I’ll skim.
What is the funniest book you ever read?
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I think that’s the only book I’ve ever read more than once!
Tour Schedule - One Month Blog Tour for Knight in Highland Armor by Amy Jarecki from Jan 5 to Jan 31, 2015.
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