Saturday, March 12, 2011

Better Late Than Never ~ $65 CSN Winner

I apologize for not getting the winner of the $65 CSN gift certificate chosen sooner.  I've had some things come up in real life and I honestly forgot as a result of those things.
So here is our winner (chosen by

Congrats Val!  I'll be emailing you in a minute to let you know that you are the winner!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Review and Giveaway ~ Highland Master by Amanda Scott

Title: Highland Master
Author: Amanda Scott
Publication Date: March 3, 2011
Source:  Received from publisher as part of the From Scotland With Love Tour


When eighteen-year-old Lady Catriona Mackintosh discovers a wounded man in the forest near her Highland home, little does she know that he has sworn a sacred oath to kill her father and other members of the powerful Highland confederation known as Clan Chattan. Nor does she realize that she has met her soul mate. Independent, competent, intelligent, fiercely proud of her heritage, determined always to live near her own family, and known to her family as the "wee wildcat" because of her quick temper, Catriona is the daughter of a Highland chieftain and granddaughter of the even more powerful Chief (or Captain) of Clan Chattan. But her life changes forever when she persuades Sir Finlagh Cameron to return with her to her home to recover from his wounds.

Sir Finlagh "Fin" Cameron is on a mission for the heir to Scotland's throne, who has sent him to the Highlands to persuade the Chief of Clan Chattan to arrange a secret meeting for him with two other great lords (the Lord of the Isles and the Lord of the North). Until Fin meets Catriona, however, he has no idea that her father was the Clan Chattan war leader who led them in the battle that wiped out many of Clan Cameron's best warriors, including Fin's own father. The sole survivor of that battle, Fin accepted a bequest of vengeance from his dying father, providing him with a dilemma to face as he begins to fall in love with Catriona. He is not the only one enticed by her charms, either. There are two other contenders, one of whom is his own master, the heir to Scotland's throne. With royal mischief afoot, if Catriona and Fin are ever to find happiness, they must first avoid disaster that could change Scotland's history, and find ways to be open and honest with each other.


I found this tour randomly on the Book Blogs ning and I immediately signed up.  Who doesn't enjoy a Highland Hottie every now and then?  Amanda Scott is another new to me author and I will be reading more of her books in the future after reading this book.  It was a delightful read and I'm really glad that I found this tour!

At the beginning of the book Sir Finlagh Cameron swears to his father that he will avenge his death against the Clan Chattan's war leader.  Many years later, Fin has been attacked by an unknown would be assailant with an arrow and is saved by lovely and very spirited Lady Catriona.  It doesn't take long for Fin to figure out that her father is the man that he's sworn to kill.  But at the same time he is trying to tackle his growing desire for Catriona, which makes it very difficult to concentrate on his original mission.

For the most part I thought that Fin wasn't as angsty as he could have been...Which was a good thing.  He is experiencing all sorts of internal conflicts through a fair piece of the book...Mainly his vow to his father, his growing respect for Catriona's father (the man he's supposed to kill), and his growing love for Catriona herself. I thought that Fin was written as a very mature warrior who realizes that he has to let go of his past in order to have a future.  I thought that this was pretty refreshing considering I've read a couple of books lately where the hero is VERY wishy washy towards the heroine.  I think the best part for me was that Fin realized early on in the book that he was falling in love with Catriona and pretty much focused on her. Cat is very young and very headstrong. 

The second best part of the book for me was how the author made me feel like I was actually in the ancient Highlands while I was reading the book.  I really like a book that is able to transport me out of reality. This book is NOT a light "fluffy" read by any means.  There are plenty of politics, intrigue and twists and turns to add a level of complexity to the story as well. My main quirk with the book was I thought that the romance between our two main characters was pretty slow moving for a portion of the book but at the same time realistic.  Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.



Now it's time for the GIVEAWAY!  Courtesy of the publisher I have 2 copies of Highland Master to giveaway to 2 lucky commenter's.  Now here are the rules...

1. Leave a meaningful comment on the review.

2. Must include an email address so that I can contact you if you should win

3. Open to US only

4. Contest is open until 11:59 pm on March 10

Giveaway and Guest Post By Kira Morgan, author of Seduced By Destiny

Today I am participating in the blog tour for the From Scotland With Love tour.  Our guest poster this morning is Kira Morgan, author of Seduced by Destiny, which is one of the books on the tour.  I just want to thank Kira for stopping by.  I really enjoyed reading your book!


It’s great to be here with you today!  (Though wouldn’t it be nice if we were all in Scotland?)

I’ve always loved towering castles, trusty swords, and knights (and damsels) in shining armor.  But my affection for all things Scots started with my high school sweetheart, who was a Campbell.  In the way of teenagers in love, I was driven to learn the history of his people, look up his clan tartan and motto, and find out whether he had any castles in Scotland with his name on them!

As it turned out, when we went on our U.K. honeymoon years later, we found castles Kilchurn and Inveraray, which were indeed owned by Campbells.  But what made an even bigger impact on me was exploring the dramatic Scots countryside—the rolling Lowland hills and rugged Highland peaks split by waterfalls, the heather-cloaked moors, the wild North Sea, the lush green forests, and the narrow, winding roads that threaded through it all.

Living in such a wild, isolated, and sometimes hostile landscape before the time of rapid transit required a special kind of individual.  It was a matter of humanity and survival to offer shelter to whatever strangers passed by.  (Unfortunately, in the 17th century, the Campbells violated that hospitality by murdering their hosts, the McDonalds, but that’s another story.)  This simple concept of hospitality has survived the generations, which is why Scots to this day are notoriously warm and welcoming.

Why did I choose to set SEDUCED BY DESTINY in the 16th century?  It was an exciting time in Scots history, when the country was experiencing great change and on the cusp of being civilized.  When 19-year-old Queen Mary returned from France to rule Scotland, she and her entourage must have been shocked by the differences in stylish Paris and rough-hewn Edinburgh.  But she embraced the simplicity of the Scots, and she brought a bit of French sophistication with her, creating an interesting culture where velvet gowns coexisted with sheepskin cloaks; petits gatelles (little cakes) evolved into the famous shortbread petticoat tails; and town fairs and harvest festivals attracted everyone from bare-legged Highlanders to bejeweled French noblewomen.

This country-in-upheaval provides an inspiring backdrop for my book, where I explore the romantic tension between Josselin Ancrum, a Scots heroine employed as a spy in Queen Mary’s service, and Drew MacAdam, an Englishman-in-disguise who participates in the birth of the great Scots sport of golf.

If you’ve never been to Scotland, start saving your pennies!  Stay in B&Bs, go on walkabouts, have a wee dram in a pub, and soon you’ll feel like you’re one of the clan.  Until then, I’ll spirit you away on a Scottish adventure in SEDUCED BY DESTINY.

You can friend me at, follow me at, and find me at, where you can enter a sweepstakes to win the silver thimble Drew gives to Jossy in SEDUCED BY DESTINY.

How about you?  Do you like stories set in Scotland?  Why?

Now it's time for the GIVEAWAY! Courtesy of the publisher I am able to giveaway 2 copies of Seduced by Destiny to 2 luck readers!  Now here are the rules for the giveaway:

1. In the comments below you MUST answer the question that Kira asked. The question is in red.

2. You MUST leave me an email address so that I can contact you if you should win.

3. Open to US only.

4. Contest closes March 10 @ 11:59 pm.

Seduced by Destiny by Kira Morgan

Title: Seduced By Destiny
Author: Kira Morgan
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Source: Sent book from publisher as part of the From Scotland With Love Tour



All her life, Josselin Ancrum has been trained for combat, hoping to exact vengeance for her heroic mother, who was killed fighting the English. When asked to spy for the Scottish Queen, Jossy joyfully accepts. But when a handsome stranger rescues her from sudden danger, his charm distracts her from her mission.


On the surface, Drew MacAdam may appear to be nothing more than a carefree champion, but his heart harbors a dark secret: This Highland hero is actually a skilled English soldier with a hatred for war and for the Scottish. Yet from the moment he meets the feisty Jossy, he's captured by her fiercely loyal heart. He's determined the honey-haired lass will be his ultimate prize - until the tragedy of their entwined legacies is revealed. Are these star-crossed lovers to be divided by their pasts? Or will they be...

Seduced by Destiny


I randomly found the posting for this tour in one of the groups that I follow on the Book Blogs ning and I signed up immediately.  Kira Morgan is a new to me author and I'm very happy to say that I really enjoy her writing. :)

Seduced By Destiny takes place in Scotland in 1561 and is written in a manner that there are all sorts of twists and turns.  On top of all the twists and turns throw in romance, some history on the game of golf, some pretty witty banter, some spying as well as many other elements and you get a pretty fast paced read.

Our heroine, Josselin (Jossy), is a Scottish lass who was raised by three combat warriors after her mother was brutally killed during a battle with the English.  Jossy is not only beautiful and smart...she has a hatred for the English.  Now this is were things start to get real interesting....

Our hero, Andrew (Drew) is an English soldier who hates war, hates the Scottish BUT is pretending that he is indeed a Scottish Highlander.  With a pretty wicked golf game.  Drew was raised by his three uncles after his father killed himself.  His father could not live with the fact that he had killed a woman in men's clothing on the battlefield.

When Jossy and Drew meet the sparks start to fly.  They are both easily attracted to one another, but with all the dark secrets that they have between them will there attraction and growing love survive the dangers that await them?

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romances or stories with Scotland as the backdrop.  The only quirk that I really had with the book was that I thought that after the prologue it kind of leveled off for a little bit.  But that's really all I had issues with.