Romance By Catherine: Top 10 reasons we love Highlanders by LL Muir

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top 10 reasons we love Highlanders by LL Muir

Please make welcome my hysterical guest, LL Muir. And please...add your reasons why we MUST read and follow these shirtless, kilted men wherever they may go!

First, I just have to say I’m so excited to be on Catherine Bybee’s blog I’m not even going to sit down—THE WHOLE TIME I’M HERE.

In honor of what Catherine and I have in common, I thought I might give a list of the ten reasons why Highlander stories float our boats.

#10. Of course Scotland is going to remain mysterious when most universities don’t offer courses in their language.

#9. Braveheart. Despite its historical flaws...Braveheart.

#8. It takes a braw lad to wield those enormous swords. We’re impressed by strength, not by muscles. *cough* *cough* What?

#7. If we don’t buy Highlander books, those poor men will never earn enough to buy a shirt. “Bye, honey! I’m off to donate to the PLSF--Poor Laddie Shirt Fund!”

#6. They don’t have the slightest idea what a metro-sexual is.

#5. Those braids at his temples come in handy when climbing his chest.

#4. They fear nothing, not even each other.

#3. Have you ever heard a Scottish brogue? Did you follow him home...and forget where you parked your minivan-full of kids?

#2. It’s required. If something purrs, you’re compelled to rub it’s tummy.

And #1. Because we all know what a Scotsman doesn’t wear beneath his kilt. That kind of ever-present danger is like a plate of brownies covered LOOSELY by a piece of foil. And yeah, the danger comes from us.

If you’ve got a reason better than these, please share it, so we may gather over a plate of brownies and nod our heads.
By L.L. Muir
Alone, with a Highlander, in his castle, on a cold dark night...

(Okay, so it wasn’t that cold.)

Jillian MacKay is being conned by a pair of eighty-year-old witches. They’re convinced she’s the perfect sucker to test a prophecy and they’re willing to bury her alive to prove it. Once she escapes and finds herself in 15th Century Scotland, she believes her return home depends on a heroic deed—she must rescue a plaid-clad Romeo and Juliet before tragedy can strike.  The monster standing in her way, however, is a handsome Highlander who might just be her own Romeo...a Romeo she must leave behind.

Rather than surrender his secrets, Montgomery Ross would prefer to go down in history as the heartless creature who betrayed one sister and buried the other alive.  When he falls in love with the prophesied faery who has come to expose him, he'll have to learn a wee lesson from the star-crossed lovers or suffer the fate to which he once condemned them.

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 Castle Ross, East Burnshire, Scotland  1494
The stone closest to Laird Montgomery Ross’s foot looked to be the same shape as the hole remaining in the side of his sister's tomb, but he refused to reach for it.
"Nay.  I'm not ready to be finished."  Monty whispered his complaint to God, for surely it was God's hand that wrought such an appropriately shaped thing. 
Behind him, one of the priests cleared his throat.  Monty knew without looking it had been the fat one who could not cease rubbing his hands together, even while Monty’s sister was led inside her would-be grave.  The bastard had been rubbing them for a fair two days, since he’d arrived to try Isobelle as a witch.  No doubt they were itchy for the feel of a woman’s neck since Monty had cheated them out of wringing his sister’s.
He could let the priest live, or he could be silent, but Monty could not manage both.
"If you canna seem to clean those hands, Father,” he said without turning away from his morbid creation, “I'd be happy to rid you of them before I finish my task here.  I'm sure my sister wouldna mind the wait."
A gasp of outrage was followed by silence, although the Great Hall was filled to the corners with his clan.  Those who could not find space inside would soon enough hear of each stone lovingly placed as their laird buried his sister alive within their very hall, upon the stone dais, behind the great Ross Chair.  Hopefully they would remember Isobelle’s bravery and not how oft his tears mingled with the mortar.
None breathed, none dared rub their hands.  How could he possibly continue?  How could he not?
“Nay, I wouldna mind a bit, if you’re quick about it, brother mine.” Isobelle’s voice echoed eerily from the tomb and she smirked at him from within the tiny patch of light the same shape as the odd stone. “In fact, toss the bloody things in here with me and I’ll leave them at the gates of hell.  Himself can collect them when he arrives.” 
Her unholy laughter no doubt had even the dogs wishing they could cross themselves, but it was music to Monty’s ears.  The Kirk’s men allowed her no blanket, but she’d have the image of revenge to keep her warm. 
“Isobelle!” Morna screamed.  Monty’s other sister stood off to his right, restrained by her puny Gordon husband.  “’Tis all my fault.  Forgive me.”
Isobelle’s sober face came forward to fill the hole as she searched for Morna, giving Monty one last glimpse of red hair.
“Morna, love.  Dinna greet.  The faery will come to make it all right again.  Watch for the faery...and keep away from your husband!”
“Silence!” the robed bastard roared. 
Isobelle laughed again, backing away from the hole.  After all, what could the man do to her now? 
Monty would not ruin her00 trust in the blasted faery, but if the creature ever placed its magic toe on Ross land, it would be dead before it ever took a breath of heathered air.
‘Twas time.
He looked at the stone.
‘Twas meant.
“I love you, sister mine.”  His words were quiet, for Isobelle alone.
“And I you, Monty.  Blow us a kiss.”
When he raised his crusted fingers to his lips, his palm filled with tears but they washed none of the nightmare away. He blew a kiss that was instantly returned.
“I’m stayin’ right here, pet.  Ye’re no’ alone.”
“Get on, then.”  The whimper in her voice was slight.  “I’ll have a wee nap if ye’ll but douse the light.”
With a final wink she disappeared.
Monty reached for the stone, dipped its edges in muck, and pushed it home, breaking his heart in the doing.  After long moments of stillness, his hands slowly opened and dropped away. 
From the corner of his eye, he saw Morna swoon, but someone else would have to catch her—someone without mud or blood on his hands.  Morna wouldn’t welcome his comfort anyhow.  She claimed it was her fault, but he knew both sisters blamed him.
If he’d have known the outcome, would he have acted differently?  What kind of bastard would not?
There was no stopping the twisting of his face, the sob from his chest. He turned his head to the side and bellowed, “Out!”
Nearly everyone fled or slithered from the hall, all but The Kirk’s henchmen who would stay until they believed his sister dead.  Only then did he hear the muffled sobs of Isobelle.  She sounded as if she were deep in the ground. 
His heart shuddered with cold.  Dear God, what had he been thinking?  His plan was madness; she would never last.  Not enough time.  He had to get her out!
He reached for the odd stone...and was struck soundly from behind.
About LL Muir
About the Author:

L.L. Muir lives with Superman in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. They are raising numerous super-heroes for society, but none will wear tights. Currently, she writes Scottish & Regency historicals and paranormal fiction for both adult and young adult readers. She is represented by Cori Deyoe of Three Seas Literary Agency.

Her hobbies are:

*stalking kilt-wearers at the local Scottish Festival and Highland Games.
*making up stories about those kilt-wearers
*trying to get the men in her life to wear kilts

Before writing full-time, she owned a flower shop called The Scottish Rose. She'd often answer the phone sounding like Mrs. Doubtfire...until a gentleman customer asked to speak with the Scottish woman who owned the place.
Twitter @LLMuir

7 comments: or said...

Aye, you are a love to leave me with a lovely thought, you are! Makes my day and writes my stories. Great list, Lass. Thanks

Clancy said...

I can't argue with this list at all... and loved the book.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Have you thought about writing travel blogs, because I'm buying a ticket. Yep, leaving the mini van full of kids and hunting me down a side-braided, bare-chested, kilt-wearing Scotsman!

L.L. Muir said...

Yeah, I'll write a travel blog after I come back from Scotland in 2013. IF I come back from Scotland at ALL.

I'm sure there are plenty of men to follow about...if I can just get my hubby to stay in the van.

Catherine Bybee said...

Thanks for being here today, L.L.

J. Coleman said...

Highlanders in kilts make you grateful for blustery days. Nothing beats a Scottish "view." Side braids for hand holds? Hmmm.

L.L. Muir said...

Thanks Catherine! I was thrilled to share here.

Now, I'll got grab your Highlander. Ahem, I mean, book. Your book.