Paula Quinn and Sue-Ellen Welfonder together on …

The Great Scotts Blog Tour!


Edmund MacGregor will do anything to save Scotland from English rule-even kidnap Lady Amelia Bell for ransom. As the daughter of a duke and the chancellor’s betrothed, she’s the perfect pawn in this game. But from the moment he first lays eyes on his spirited captive, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.

Lady Amelia’s duty is to marry well, but that hasn’t stopped her from fantasizing about true love. So when a sexy Scot appears in her home, she’s beguiled. When he kidnaps her, she’s furious. Yet as Edmund introduces her to a world of passion beyond her wildest dreams, can she leave her family behind for this handsome Highlander? And will Edmund risk the only true home he’s ever known to capture the heart of this lovely lass?

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

EXCERPT: here.

About Paula Quinn: New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three Paula Quinnbeautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo.

She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven.  She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

Social Media: Website / Twitter / Facebook

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As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer .

Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

About Sue-Ellen Welfonder: Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent

Sue Ellen Welfounder trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty-year career with the airlines.

Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She makes annual visits to Scotland, insisting they are a necessity, as each trip gives her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies: the MacFie Clan Society and the Clan MacAlpine Society. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is married and currently resides with her husband and Jack Russell terrier in Florida. 

Social Media: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Giveaway >>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<


‘To Love a Highlander’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

sew tlhaSTORY: A Tempting Proposition

As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer . . .

An Unquenchable Desire

Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.

REVIEW: Duncreag Castle

Long ago, Archibald MacNab was driven from court never to return. He sired four base born sons with four of the King’s mistresses. He knows they are somewhere in Scotland but was never allowed to see them or know them. Someone is determined to bring them into his life.

Sterling Castle – Summer – 1386

Sorley, the Hawk, is 14. He’s in the Great Hall and has just been turned down for a dance with a knight’s daughter because she deemed him unworthy being base-born as he is. Mirabelle MacLaren sees this and walks up to him asking him for a dance. He is thinking she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen and soon finds Mirabelle shunning him when a woman and one of her father’s guards approach telling her to end the dance and leave. She fears the guard will hurt Sorley if she doesn’t shun him so she leaves. He swears that day never to trust Mirabelle’s schemes again. She knows this day that she will never forget him. So starts their story.

He feels the Highlands calling him. He’s always felt his father was a Highland Chieftain that didn’t want a bastard son. His mother died when he was young and no one ever spoke who his father was. He knows in his heart that he will one day head for the hills and find his place in this world.

Sterling Castle – Summer 1399

Sorley is now 27. He awakes to find Mirabelle in his chamber. She’s there to proposition him. She wants him to ruin her so she doesn’t have to marry an older man who is determined to take her to wife. He refuses and even feels offended when she offers to pay him. He learns the man that wants Mirabelle is John Sinclair, one of Sorley’s greatest enemies, and he finally agrees to compromise her in front of everyone in the hall one night knowing that once John thinks she’s been ruined that he will leave off with wanting her.

I really enjoyed reading as I watched these two accept the fact that they have loved each other for years. There were obstacles along the way, some dangerous, that they both grabbed by the horns and overcame. Sorley had my heart melting when it came to a kitten named Little Heart. Only a real man would do what he did and I was falling in love with him myself along the way, always with this huge grin on my face.

There is Rosalind, the Pink Lady, who is a ghost and her story itself broke my heart. Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch and his mistress, Lady Mariota de Athyn, walked their way right into my reader heart as well. What a couple, these two, not to be messed with and God forbid you made an enemy of them for you will surely wish you never had. The Fenris Guards and the story behind them… Roag, Caelen, and Andrew, men that Sorley grew up with who have stories of their own I’d love to hear. William the inn owner. Maili, one of Sorley’s closest friends. All these people warmed my heart along the way and gave greatly to the story.

Grim MacIntosh…. my heart just bursts with love for this man. He comes down from Duncreag Castle on a mission and as soon as he walks into the inn looking for Sorley, he has the women falling all over themselves. There also comes a time where he is needed with his battle ax and just the sight of him in my mind as I read the instance had me sitting here in awe of the man. My favorite two lines in the book were about Grim. The first is when Sorley is talking to one of his best friends, Maili, and she’s telling him that Grim had asked about him. She was describing him as this fierce looking warrior and this is Sorley’s thought to that…..

“He also bit his tongue rather than tell Maili he didn’t care if the man had the Norse God’s lightning bolts shooting out his arse”.

Sue-Ellen never fails to have me howling in laughter with some of the responses and lines her characters have or say. They are unique and hilarious! The next line helps describe how Maili was going on and on about Grim….

“Have done, lass!” Sorley scowled at her. “There’s more to a man than his burr.”
Maili sighed dreamily. “Say you.”
“I do. I’ll also say I’m surprised you aren’t in a hurry to race back to the Red Lion. If this Grim is such a paragon” —- Sorley didn’t hide his annoyance —- “I’d think you’d be eager to return to his bed. Sakes, you look close to needing to fan your face each time you speak of him.”

Now if you’ve read anything about Grim, we all know how deeply he loves his lady wife, Breena, and that he would never be anything but true to her. I’m here to tell you that I, myself, have to fan myself when Grim comes on the scene. Needless to say, he stands with Sorley to right wrongs. Sorley finds himself with several wrongs righted in this story and each and every one lead him to realize all these years he has been a worthy man. Mirabelle has spunk and knows how to use it. I say that smiling. I love her strength and the way that her and Sorley compliment the other with their strengths.

Again, I was taken in with Scotland and it’s beauty, for I can see it in my mind as I read Sue-Ellen’s words. The people, the land, castles, and inn….the food, the clothing, the battles, all of it imprinted clearly within. One of my greatest loves about her writing is the way she describes things so clearly and it comes from her love of the place, the times, and the people. This is one book that you won’t want to put down until you’ve finished. I am so excited to continue this series following these Scandalous Scots!

Leah for b2b.

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

‘Bride for a Knight’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

BFAK SEWSTORY: On the eve of his return to BaldreaganCastle, Highlander Jamie Macpherson cannot believe his eyes: a golden-haired beauty haloed in the moonlight of St. Bride’s glade, so delicate and fair she can only be a faerie. With his desire rising like a wave, the knight longs to see her again. The next time is even more surprising: Aveline Matheson is the flesh-and-blood bride of his arranged marriage, a woman eager to discover the pleasures of wedded bliss. And woe to those who would stop their lovemaking!

Yet danger threatens the newlyweds. Jamie’s darkest foe has already murdered his brothers and now threatens to destroy every Macpherson. But the enemy hasn’t counted on one thing: Jamie will do whatever he must to keep his bride alive and in his arms forever…

REVIEW: This was a re-read for me and one of my favorite stories by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Jamie Macpherson and Aveline Matheson have been calling to me for some time now and I answered their call.

The Western Highlands, 1325-

Jaimie is the 10th son of Monro, one of the lessor Highland Chieftains. His mother died birthing him which sent Munro into a deep depression. He named his son Jamie of the Heather saying it was where he was spawned and where he would return when he was old enough.


Aveline’s father, Alan Mor Matheson wants her to marry Jamie to make sure the future and fortune of Clan Matheson. Her older sister, Sorcha, was to have married Jamie’s older brother, Niall, who was killed along with the other 8 brothers when a bridge collapsed. Alan wants to keep the alliance with this new marriage agreement.

Sir Kenneth MacKenzie is Jamie’s liege lord. It’s here that he learns of the deaths of his brothers. He is shaken to the core. Jamie heads home with his aged dog Cuillin, a gift from his brother Niall years before, to see to his father and to stop and visit Alan Matheson about the alliance and marriage. Everyone is saying Munro had gone mad over the loss of his sons. Jamie thinks his father hates him and his feelings are all over the place about what he will find when he arrives home.

This starts the adventure that Jamie and Aveline must take to find their happiness and love. It not only is about a love sweeter than ever and full of passion but their journey is smack full of treachery and pain. Someone is out to hurt Munro and Jamie means to see it put to an end. There are ghosts and mysteries to uncover along the way. Through all the heartache and anger that have accumulated over the years comes an understanding that all things aren’t as they seem….that love and acceptance are there for all who open their hearts along with their eyes.

*Leah for b2b

Leah’s 2013 choices for…

Five Star Reads are:

XMTS VRI know we all have our favorite genres and our favorite authors. As for me, I read all types of historical books. Even a few contemporaries.

I had many 4 – 4 1/2 star reviews this year but I thought I’d post about my 5 star reads and you will see by my list just where my heart lies when it comes to genres, which doesn’t mean that I won’t give high marks to contemporary novels.

I gave a very high 4 1/2 to ‘Spin’ by Bella Love.  I am hooked! You can check out my review here.

Now, back to my FIVE STAR reads and so, here we go….

Julianne Lee and her Tenebrae series

‘Knight Tenebrae’, ‘Knight’s Blood’ and ‘Knight’s Lady’.

“Trapped in a place not their own, two strangers find the only thing they can count on is one another”.

Follow Alex and Lindsay as they travel back through time to 14th century Scotland. All three books take you on their journey. I was simply full of emotion throughout all three books. Read Mel’s reviews for the series here.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder and her Highland Warriors series

 ‘Sins Of a Highland Devil’, ‘Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel’ and ‘Seduction of a Highland Warrior’, along with SOTC PBthe novella, ‘Once Upon a Highland Christmas’.

I can tell you that Sue-Ellen brings medieval Scotland to life for me every time I go into one of her stories. They are full of humor, mystery, highland magic, warfare, and love. All are filled with history bits that will keep all history buffs happy. You can read my reviews for the series here, here & here, with Melanie’s review for the novella here,

Monica McCarty and ‘The Hawk’

It is part of the Highland Guard series and I highly recommend it. They all received high marks from me but Eric “Hawk” MacSorely stood out above the rest. She is another auto-buy for me. You can read my review here.

Diane Darcy and ‘She Owns The Knight’

I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed this book! I am sitting here smiling from ear to ear as I write this. If you love 13th century England, laughing, and watching as two people learn what love is all about, this story is a must buy! You can read my review here.

Victoria Roberts and ‘X Marks The Scot’

TH MMcCThis is #2 in the Bad Boys of the Highlands series and I waited patiently for Declan and his story and was so excited when I finally got it in my hands.

I knew there was a wonderful man behind the rogue. Laidain is just the woman for him too, one who won’t let him hide behind his blether, and one who is strong enough to stand her ground with him and everyone else for that matter.

This story is packed with treason, danger it seems around every turn, secrets discovered that condemns some and saves another, and laughter…..tons of laughter!

Patricia Bracewell and ‘Shadow on the Crown

Loved this story! From the history to the direction Patricia took this story in, her writing had hooked me in!

I felt for Emma as she accepted her lot in life and smiled when she stood for herself when needed. King Aethelred was constantly suspicious of everyone and because of his guilt, found himself tortured by visits from his murdered brother’s ghostly shadow. He also blatantly carried on with Elgiva, his mistress. I enjoyed the way Ms. Bracewell took the story line with Athelstan, the King’s son and his relationship with Emma. Through her words she brought OUAHC SEWcharacters into my life to love and hate, and added with the history, this became one of my most favorite reads this year. I cannot wait for the next on this series to see what she brings us next!

Kris Kennedy and ‘The Conqueror’

This author’s words move me. Period. I feel a deep connection while reading her work and urge you to give her a try if you haven’t yet. You can read my review here.

Margaret Mallory and ‘The Chieftain’

This is book 4 in the Return of the Highlanders series.

From beginning to end she had me captured in their world. My heart-felt warmth as I read the epilogue. I enjoyed watching their love come to fruition and talk about HOT!! I loved the mystical parts of this story. Tearlag and Ilysa and their sight, the fairy glens and the chants… ghostly sightings and the legends surrounding them all call to my heart. Scotland is full of lore and Margaret Mallory does an TIW KKexcellent job of bringing it to life.

She left me aching to walk the fairy glens, graveyards, and hills with standing stones. You can read Melanie’s review here.

Tanya Anne Crosby and her Highland Brides series. 

‘The MacKinnon’s Bride’, ‘Lyon’s Gift’, ‘On Bended Knee’ and ‘Lion Heart’ were re-reads for me that kept calling for me to pull out. Screamed at me actually. ‘Highland Song’ is a new addition to the series and stole my heart just as swiftly as the others did.

I found Tanya when I started reading 20 years ago and she was instantly catapulted to the top of my favorites list.

To me, her writing pulls at my heart and wraps me solidly within its pages.

You can read my reviews for the series herehereherehere, and here. You can now get the first 4 in the series in a boxed set…Cheaper that way, only $9.99!

So, there you have it! The stories that hit 5 stars for me this year and in no particular order. I would love to hear what everyone else read this year that received a 5 star rating. Feel free to share with us and give us your recommendations.

Now, I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings into my reading world.

*Leah for b2b

My FOREVER 2013 Christmas recommends…

IHFC JS‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ by Jessica Scott

BOOK BLURB: There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke…except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war…and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

REVIEW: This was a short read and if you’re into military contemporary reads, I think you’ll like it. I found it interesting and entertaining because of the subject and the way their life was portrayed as they were dealing with his deployment at Christmas time. It gave me an ‘in depth’ look at the military families that, I must admit, I don’t think about often enough.

It’s kind of sobering to ‘see’ how strong the women as well as their men have to be and that’s the main reason I recommend you read it.

It’s sweet, funny, sexy, and eye-opening story of love that can withstand many obstacles in its way. Liked it a lot.

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ACTR A‘A Christmas to Remember’ by Marilyn Pappano, Molly Cannon, 

Hope Ramsay, Kristen Ashley & Jill Shalvis

BOOK BLURB: Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

REVIEW: There’s a lot of stories in this anthology, and frankly most of these authors are my first reads, so we have a mixed bag of goodies here.

Keep in mind that this is an anthology, therefore the stories are short and fast moving. These kinds of stories are not for everyone, but I do recommend you read them for the most obvious reason: getting to know and ‘feel’ the authors you’re not familiar with, and enjoying the ones that you are familiar with.

That said, here we go:

‘Dream a Little Dream’ by Jill Shalvis

I was impressed with Ms. Shalvis’ character development within the constraints of this short story.

Melissa and Ian’s relationship was well developed, and fun to read about.

If you’re familiar with the Lucky Harbor series, you will defenatly love it, and if this is your first time reading this author, have no fear, this story stands on its own.

‘Every Year’ by Kristen Ashley

I’ve never read this author before and after this short story I’m debating if I should try her. I was a bit confused by the plot and the characters were not as well rounded as they could have been.

However, this may not be the case for you, so I think you should still give it a try.

‘Silent Night’ by Hope Ramsay

Leave it to Ms. Ramsey to make me cry. I just adored this story. It was well told, well-rounded and altogether just sweet, poignant and filled with hope in humanity.

Maryanne and Daniel with little baby Joshua, will steal your heart.

This is a perfect story for all of you that have never read this author before. You’ll be searching her other books after you’ve read this story. I guarantee that!

And for us that are getting more familiar with her, this one just makes us want for more!

‘Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas’ by Molly Cannon

Molly Cannon is a new author for me, but this story will make me seek her out again.

I actually enjoyed the predictability of this romance. It was fun watching Dinah, a personal organizer, who gets hired by Lincoln, a messy accountant to organize a home of his parents.

And the sparks get ignited as these two personalities come together.

Fun and sweet, with some heat mixed in.

 ‘A Family for Christmas’ by Marilyn Pappano

Again, an unfamiliar author to me, and again, I’m conflicted about will I or won’t I read her again.

I just didn’t connect with the hero and heroine.

The story was good, but the characters just fell flat to me, and once that happened, I didn’t feel emotionally vested in their happily ever after. That doesn’t mean that you’ll feel the same, though, so give it a go.

Bottom line: worth reading for sure!

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TTWC DM‘The Trouble with Christmas’ by Debbie Mason

BOOK BLURB: It will take a Christmas miracle to melt her heart.

Resort developer Madison Lane is about to lose the one thing she loves most in the world—her job. Dubbed “The Grinch Who Killed Christmas,” Madison spoiled a deal that would turn quaint Christmas, Colorado, into a tourist’s winter wonderland. Now the citizens want her fired but the company gives her one last chance, sending Madison to the small town to restore the holiday cheer.

For Sheriff Gage McBride, no hotshot executive from New York City is going to destroy the dreams of the people he loves. But one look at this beautiful woman and it’s his heart that may be broken. In just a few days, Madison causes more trouble than he’s had to deal with all year. He can’t decide if she’s naughty or nice, but one thing is for certain—Christmas will never be the same again…

REVIEW: I just about loved everyone in this tale, but the hero is one of those down to earth guys that you can’t help but love.

It took me a bit longer to warm up to the heroine, but the longer I got to know her, the more I liked her.

I also thought that the people of this quaint town aptly named Christmas, in Colorado, were a hoot and I’m looking forward to reading about them through this series. I hope you give it a try because it had everything a Christmas story should: A heroine that’s nicknamed a ‘Grinch’ falling for a local man who loves his town and its folks who look up to him for more than just to ‘protect and serve’ their community.

If you’re looking for a very funny, very entertaining and heartwarming story, this is it!

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HfC JH‘His for Christmas’ by Jennifer Haymore

BOOK BLURB: Jennifer Haymore introduced sweet, but shy Lady Esme in The Duchess Hunt, the first novel in her House of Trent Series. But what readers may not know is that proper young Lady Esme has a secret: the youngest sister of the Duke of Trent privately pens erotic stories!

Society would never allow Lady Esme to share her own work, so her friend Jennifer Haymore is here to help—and just in time for Christmas!

His for Christmas is the steamy story of two travelers who find themselves stranded in an inn when an upexpected snowstorm blankets the English countryside. As the temperature drops, desire rises and the two strangers share a night of passion unlike anything either has ever experienced. When dawn breaks and the storm clears, will they continue on thier seperate journeys, or will they begin a new path together?

REVIEW: For me, this story was heartwarming, sweet and ‘sauna’ steamy, all at the same time.

Amelia and Evan were very likable and relatable characters, while their love story took both of them back to the past and the reasons behind their separation.

Once the reason for the misunderstanding begins to dawn on both, these two light up the pages with tension and sexual buildup of years and years of longing for one another, and let me tell you, get ready for it. It is HOT!

Recommending it to all of you that believe in second chances, and to those that are looking for a read that has a mix of sweet romance with sexy characters!

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TtNBM NR”Twas the Night Before Mischief ‘ by Nina Rowan

BOOK BLURB: ‘Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting—it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope, he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days—and nights—in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide…

REVIEW: At a first glance, this might sound like a predictable story, but the further you go into it, the more you realize that not to be the case.

It is one of those love stories that involves two people who have a total misconception of one another, yet both are attracted to the other.

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey they took to come, finally, together.

I can’t recommend this one enough for the simple reason that this hero may as well have been my husband. It made me chuckle all the way through.

It really is true that opposites attract, and I can vouch for that!

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OUAHC SEW‘Once Upon A Highland Christmas’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

BOOK BLURB: Warrior Grim Mackintosh understands why his friend Archibald MacNab has decreed there be no trace of Christmas in his castle. After a devastating attack destroyed everything-and everyone-in Archie’s life, he prefers to stew in his own misery until the holiday passes. But Duncreag has seen enough tragedy. Grim decides to throw a grand Yuletide feast, one that the bards will sing about for years to come, one that will remind his laird how beloved he is. He can’t do it alone, though. Grim needs an accomplice . . .

There’s nothing Breena O’Doherty won’t do for Archie, so she’s thrilled to help Grim with his plan. Yet she has a Christmas wish all her own-to win Grim’s heart-and this might be her only chance to make it come true. As Breena and Grim work together to bring the joy of the season to the cold, gloomy castle and to the heart of the cantankerous chieftain, an undeniable passion ignites between them. But when a shocking secret about Breena’s past comes to light, threatening everything she holds dear, will it ruin Christmas in Duncreag forevermore?

REVIEW: Hope you click here for my review of this wonderful, fun and entertaining story.

*Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publishers through NetGalley.

FOREVER would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas by giving one book to six commenters who can tell us about their earliest Christmas memory….



Fan2Author Interview with…

Sue-Ellen Welfonder!

Okay guys…. I am so excited about this release! Sue-Ellen Welfonder has a new book coming out. Grim is my all time favorite character. He played a role in her Highland Warriors series and he’s finally getting his own book, Once Upon A Highland Christmas. He will also play a crucial role in the Scandalous Scots series following this novella that launches the series. Once Upon A Highland Christmas will release on December 3rd. You can pre-order it now on amazon for just $.99!

Sue-Ellen WelfonderSue-Ellen is not only one of my favorite authors but one of my favorite people too. I found her in 2001 when she released Devil In a Kilt and fell head over heels for her writing. She’s one of only a handful of people in this world who really “get” me and our beliefs run identical. She’s funny, kind, and all around real deal and I feel blessed to call her friend! If you love Scotland and those brave, fierce highlanders and the strong women who love them, her books are for you. Her heart lies in Scotland and her stories do too and in picking up her books you’re guaranteed to be swept away to another place and time and set firmly down among the magical mist and beautiful rugged landscape that make up the highlands. Not only will I be giving away an E-copy of Once Upon a Highland Christmas but she will be giving away a signed copy of Seduction Of a Highland Warrior from the Highland Warriors series where Grim was introduced and a signed copy of her first book, Devil In a Kilt! So without further ado, here she is….

Thank you for joining us today, Sue-Ellen!

OUAHC SEWSEW:  My pleasure, Leah!  I’m delighted to be here, especially as part of your Push-A-Book party to celebrate bookworm2bookworm’s 3rd Birthday.  Thank you so much for inviting me, and for your lovely words.  I feel the same about you.  We’ve journeyed a shared path for a long while, as we have before and will again.  You know exactly what I mean.

Leah: Yes, I do :)

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

SEW:  I’ll share my ‘official’ bio and an ‘unofficial one.’

The official bio:

Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes Scottish medieval romances for Grand Central Publishing. As time allows, she also writes as Allie Mackay, penning contemporary paranormals, mostly set in the Scottish Highlands.

Her twenty-year airline career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned. Now a full-time writer, she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She spent fifteen years living in Europe, using that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles, as possible. Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye. She still visits Scotland when she can as such trips give her inspiration for new books

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies and never misses a chance to attend Highland Games. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, nature, and animals. She enjoys long walks and bicycling, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

The unofficial bio:

My unofficial description of myself would tell you that I am old-fashioned, listen to classical and New Age music as I write, that I live, breath, and dream medieval Scotland, and enjoy living quietly.  Shabby chic suits me better than glitz and glam. Hate shopping except bookstore sand thrift shops.  I believe in Highland magic and love whimsy.  I also believe some people are born out of time and place, and I am sure I’m one of them.  (as are you, Leah!) 

If I wasn’t writing, I’d be out in the field fighting for animal rights, rescuing stray cats and dogs, saving whales and seals, hugging trees, and going ghost-hunting, always searching for a time portal to sweep me out of this world and back to medieval Scotland.

Leah: We are SO alike! [as she stated above, she also writes as Allie MacKay and these books are just as awesome as her historical stories are! Tons of humor along with the romance and paranormal.]

What started you down the road to writing?

SEW:  One of my own favorite romance writers encouraged me.  She was Becky Lee Weyrich,DIAK SEW the Queen of Time Travel in the 80s.  I loved her books and sent her a fan letter.  We became friends.  At the time, I was flying and I’d send her long snail-mail letters about my adventures in far-flung corners of the globe.  She told me that she ‘felt like she was there’ when she read my letters.  She urged me to write.  I balked.  I loved flying and never wanted to do anything else.  But Becky was a wonderful mentor, and eventually I wrote the story that became Devil In A Kilt.  It sold fast and then there I was, published.  So I just sort of fell into writing.

Leah:  I’m so excited about Grim’s story, Once Upon a Highland Christmas. We met him in your Highland Warriors series where I fell madly in love with him and we’ll be seeing more of him in your upcoming Scandalous Scots series. Can you tell us about Grim and Breena, the woman who claims his heart?

SEW:  Grim is one of those characters who stride onto the page full-bodied and breathing, alive and possessing such a powerful presence you’d swear they were real.  I’m convinced Grim is out there somewhere, just the other side of a swirl of Highland mist, looking on as we talk about him today, his arms crossed and a slight smile tugging at his lips, pleased (and a bit humbled) to be honored this way.

He first appeared in Highland Warriors where he was champion to Kendrew, the hero of Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel.  Tough and battle-hardened, Grim was Kendrew’s most fearsome warrior.  He is formidable with both a sword and a Norse war ax, which he prefers.  He’s also fierce-looking, being a big, powerfully-muscled man with smoke-gray eyes, wild black hair and his beard rings.  (beard rings are made from the steel of the swords of slain enemies)  For all his ferocity in battle, Grim is great-hearted and a good man.  He is loyal, a staunch friend, and he loves animals.  He knows he isn’t a ‘bonnie’ man, so he admires Breena from afar, sure that she would never even glance at a brute like him.

SOTHD b1 SEWBreena is a young woman who has experienced incredibly hard times.  She is Irish and was captured by brigands who raided her village.  Those men planned to sell her at a slave market, after they’d taken their own pleasure with her.  They brought her to Scotland and she was with them when they attacked a Highland stronghold.  Grim was in the party of neighboring allies who rid the castle of the brigands.  So he basically rescued Breena in the months before Once Upon A Highland Christmas opens.  Breena is strong and resilient, refusing to let bad things break her.  She adapts to her new home, coming to love the Highlands, and the clan that welcomes her so warmly.  She also loses her heart to Grim, but as he rarely even speaks to her, she is sure her feelings for him aren’t reciprocated.

In their story, the season’s magic and the enchantment of long, cold and dark Highland nights, full of stars and wonder, lend a hand in making them realize how perfect they are together.  Of course, secrets from the past could rip them apart before they can celebrate the joyful Christmas – and love – that they so deserve.

Leah:   What excited you the most about doing a Christmas Novella?

SEW:  Above all being able to write a story that sparkles with the magic of the season.  AnyoneTOAHS b2 SEW who knows me (or my work) knows that I believe in magic, especially Highland magic.  Christmas, Midwinter Solstice, Yule, whatever you call this special time, it is magical.  There is wonder in the air and everyone feels it.  Miracles can and do happen, hearts quicken with excitement, and love.  Add my love of winter, my own Christmas birthday, and appreciation of the season and all its trappings, and there you go.  I loved writing this story.  I’d always wanted to do a Christmas tale and was thrilled when my publisher asked me to write one.

It was also wonderful to have the opportunity to create a ‘bridge’ between Highland Warriors and Scandalous Scots. Readers familiar with Seduction of a Highland Warrior, in particular, might be happy to see a certain well-loved character find a happy ending of his own in the novella.  I really enjoyed adding that twist.  (it shows that it is never too late for love)

Leah:  Although the novella can be read as a standalone, it was nice seeing some beloved friends through the story. One especially was mentioned…Devorgilla. She always brings a smile to my face. Will you share with our readers who she is? (That is, unless she jumps in and shares Herself with us) ;)

Devorgilla aka Old Dev:  Herself is here, indeed, lassie.  You aught know that I have excellent ears.  I aye hear when my good name is mentioned.  Those who speak it kindly, better yet, in awe, will be greeted as friends.  Woe betide any tongue-waggers who dare whisper against me.  They might find themselves enjoying a fine hot bath in my cauldron or – if the mood strikes me – they might waken to discover they’ve been turned into a newt.  

I am the greatest cailleach in all broad Scotland, after all.  And although my home is the fair Isle of Doon, as my lady noted in her second book, Knight In My Bed, when she first saw fit to loose me on the world all those long years ago, I do get around as you moderns say.  My lady grants me entry to most of her books and I do take advantage, slipping across the pages, creating a bit of mayhem here, employing a dash of Highland magic there.  

SOAHW SEWI also visit my lady’s two blogs.  Don’t tell her, but her ‘Tarts’ as she calls her blog ‘regulars’ much prefer me to her.  Truth be told, I could rule the world if I wished.  But I am most content in my beloved Highlands and the pages of my lady’s books. 

Ach!  I see her coming back into her turret office, so I’d best slip away.  Not because I must, I do what I want, always.  But I like you and know you will be a-wanting her to finish her interview and send it to you.

Before I go, it should be said that I am small of stature, but mighty of spirit.  Some say I have bright, mischievous eyes.  And I garb myself in black, including fine black boots with red plaid laces. Now I am away.  (but I will be watching you – I’m right good at suchlike)

Leah: Love you, Dev! ;)

Your stories never fail to transport me straight into the past as if I were in the midst of the story itself watching it all go on around me. I’ve said before it’s like all my senses come alive reading your words. Do you draw most of your inspiration for your stories from time actually spent in Scotland, from research, or simply ideas as they come to you?

SEW:  Thank you!  That’s always a huge goal: to transport readers into the world of the story.  Yes, most of my inspiration comes from my time spent in Scotland.  I’ve been visiting all my life and until recently, went over every year, sometimes more than once in a year.  (I am not traveling these days because my dog is quite old and I do not want to leave him)  Every trip fuels my imagination.  Loving atmosphere as I do, I am most inspired by remote, empty places.  The wild places, magnificently bleak and so beautiful it almost breaks your heart to gaze upon them.  It’s always such areas that speak loudest to me, story-wise. 

Research gives me detail, little gems I can weave into a story.  I’ve loved Scottish and medieval history all my life, so was studying both long before I ever considered writing.  It’s a passion wholly apart from my writing and yet one that also serves my work well because I can use such knowledge to build a story world that, hopefully, will seem real and believable to readers.

Ideas that ‘simply come to a writer,’ are treasures.  This happens when a character whispers in our ears, revealing their secrets.  It’s pure magic and will usually be just what was needed’ to make a story shine.

Leah:  Your stories not only have well-loved peopled characters in them but animal characters whose personalities always shine through the pages. Can you tell us about your own little hero, Em?

SEW:  Em is my little hero, indeed.  He is a Jack Russell, almost 15 now.  He’s robust and healthy for his age, so I hope he’ll be around a good while yet.  We go for long walks every day and he shares my chair when I write.  He’s been on my lap, or sleeping behind me (on the chair) through every book I’ve written.  He’s a fierce and devoted protector.  When we’re out, he stops if someone approaches from behind.  He won’t walk if anyone is behind us, only continuing on once that person has passed us.  He gets upset if I am on the phone longer than he thinks I should be.  When that happens, he often goes along the bottom bookshelves in here, nipping gently at book spines until I hang up to stop him.  He sleeps curled against the backs of my knees and holds my heart in his beloved paws.  I’ve mentioned him in every book acknowledgment and he is always the small dogs in my books.  The larger ones are other dogs I’ve had.  (I was raised in a menagerie, loving all animals all my life)  But Em is special, dear above all others.

Leah: He holds a place in my heart as well even though I’ve never seen him. I came to love him through your sharing him with us on the blog. 

Sue-Ellen, thank you so much for agreeing to the interview helping me spread the word for your new release and for sharing in our Push-A-Book party celebrating bookworm2bookworm’s 3rd Birthday!

SEW:  The pleasure was all mine.  Thank you so much for inviting me.  It was fun and CONGRATS on the blog’s 3rdbirthday!  Woot!

Now I’d better step aside.  A certain black-garbed old woman is peering over my shoulder.  I think she wants to read the interview and so I’d best let her.  She’s not one to cross, as you know.

Devorgilla adds: you can reach her lady using these modern-day contraptions:


Tartan Ink After Hours: Book News Only

Tartan Ink: All Things Celtic, Highland Magic, Kilties, & Other Neat Things

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Devil In a Kilt

Seduction of a Highland Warrior

Once Upon a Highland Christmas

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‘Once Upon a Highland Christmas’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

OUAHC SEWSTORY: Once Upon A Highland Christmas

Warrior Grim Mackintosh understands why his friend Archibald MacNab has decreed there be no trace of Christmas in his castle. After a devastating attack destroyed everything-and everyone-in Archie’s life, he prefers to stew in his own misery until the holiday passes. But Duncreag has seen enough tragedy. Grim decides to throw a grand Yuletide feast, one that the bards will sing about for years to come, one that will remind his laird how beloved he is. He can’t do it alone, though. Grim needs an accomplice . . .

There’s nothing Breena O’Doherty won’t do for Archie, so she’s thrilled to help Grim with his plan. Yet she has a Christmas wish all her own-to win Grim’s heart-and this might be her only chance to make it come true. As Breena and Grim work together to bring the joy of the season to the cold, gloomy castle and to the heart of the cantankerous chieftain, an undeniable passion ignites between them. But when a shocking secret about Breena’s past comes to light, threatening everything she holds dear, will it ruin Christmas in Duncreag forevermore?

REVIEW: I don’t know about you, I not only like reading books that the author writes, but I get a kick out of reading dedications, acknowledgments, pre and post notes, credits…I do sound like a worm…a BOOKworm, don’t I?! 

This books dedication brought me to tears and in a minute you’ll know why…here it is:

With all my heart for Leah Weller, dear and long-time friend, fellow nature girl, champion of needy animals, old soul, and lover of all things medieval and Scottish. Leah and I go way back, right to Devil in a Kilt days. She’s shared my path since then. In truth we’ve walked tandem even before that and surely will again, someday.

For very special reasons, this story simply had to be hers. She knows why.

Merry Christmas, Lady Leah.

With Highland love from Grim.

I just want to say that I’m so Blessed by having someone like Lady Leah here on the blog, ‘having my back’. Congratulations on this wonderful dedication. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. I HEART you dearly, my friend.

And now my review…

Ms. Welfonder is starting her new Scottish series, Scandalous Scots, with this short novella as an introduction to it.

‘Once Upon a Highland Christmas’ is a novella in which Grim and Breena find their happily ever after-FINALLY!

As usual, Sue-Ellen Welfonder not just tells the tale, she takes you ‘inside’ it by creating a world that fascinates.

We finally get to watch this fierce warrior, who we met in the earlier stories, admit to his feelings for Breena, Irish lass almost as fierce as he is.

This is another little novella that packs a punch, and honestly it never felt short. It had a fast pace, great plot and characters were well-developed, so that could be the reason that it felt like a full novel.

Old Archie MacNab’s decree to forgo Yuletide celebration brings Grim and Breena together as they decide to thwart the old man’s wishes.

Breena is a wonderful heroine. It was a delight to watch this strong-willed and independent girl who was much wise in the ways of the world but ignorant of love. Grim was a wonderful Alpha male character with many sides to him and every side way too charming. Both are charismatic with high level of chemistry between them.

The research Sue-Ellen does for her stories are priceless, as she paints the wonderful setting that transports the reader into the Scotland of long ago.

I know that the fans of her Highland Warriors will have much fun reading Grim’s tale, but I’d like to recommend this story to all of you that have never read this author. This heartwarming, captivating and sweet Scottish tale would be a perfect time to be introduced to her unique writing style and great talent at weaving a wonderful story with a believable, sweet romance.

Keep an eye out for ‘To Love a Highlander’ which will be released in 2014 and is the first full length novel in this new and much-anticipated series.

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.