With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.
C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.
BJ will award gifts of swag (including a canvas tote bag, a mouse pad, a pen, book thong, bookmark, can cooler, magnet, and key chain -- US/Canada only) to randomly drawn commenters from this tour and her Virtual Book Tour, and a grand prize of one $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter from this tour and her Super Book Blast.
When the Celtic people emigrated from Ireland to Scotland, along with their Celtic religion, they brought with them a strong belief in, fairies, superstitions, myths and legends. This resulted in a culture that was governed by rituals intended to bring good luck, blessing, to promote prosperity, to help them to select a mate, to influence crop yields, increase fertility, and to protect them from evil and tragedy. Simple day-to-day activities, things like how to plant a field, to lead a cow, the order in which ingredients were added to a pot, and direction it was stirred, the proper way to celebrate feasts and sacred days were all carried out according to legendary practices. Breaking with tradition or going against the myth meant you were inviting trouble. Many a tale was told of those who had done just that and the grave consequences.
Perhaps one of the most prevalent beliefs of the Celtic people living in the Highlands was in the “gift of second sight.” The Gaelic name for this form of precognition was dà shealladh, which translated means two sights, the ability of a person to not only see the world as all normal humans do, but they also had the skill to see the spirit world. Called a gift by some, it was often seen by those said to possess these abilities as a curse.
The shroud, the corpse-candle or spectral illuminations, each held a specific significance. The shroud of death and where it was wrapped around a person’s body indicated how long they had to live. Draped around the middle or below, meant death might not occur for months or even a year, but the higher it was positioned, the sooner the death would occur. Wrapped around a specific part of the body could signify the way they would die. A full funeral procession, the way being lit by corpse-candles and other illuminations was also viewed as a sign of impending demise. If a spark of fire was seen falling upon someone’s arm or breast, this indicated the dead of a child, especially if seen in the arms of that person. Seeing an empty seat when someone was sitting in it was a sign that sudden death was near.
The knowledge of when and where a person would die, to see the demise of friends and family, or simply being aware of people’s nature in general was a heavy burden to carry and often feared. Even though the visions came on them without warning and was not by choice, the person with second sight often found themselves living in solitude. Be it by preference or forced upon them.
In Highland Quest, the heroine, Fallon, has the gift of second sight and while it does not play a major roll in the book, this is touched upon throughout the story. She does not consider herself lucky, has been shunned by villagers and most of the people she has met from the time she was a child, so learned at a young age to live alone and rely on herself. She has lost everyone she has ever held dear and while she finds herself drawn to Bryce, she sees his death in a vision and believes her love is a curse.
No longer content in the shadows of his older brothers and on a quest to find his destiny, Bryce Fraser's chosen path is fraught with danger, passion, and decisions. Can his unspoken love for spirited, beguiling Fallon be triumphant in a time of war and uncertainty, or will they both fall prey to the devious plans of a traitorous laird from a rival clan?
“Wa . . . water,” Bryce mumbled, but there was no one there to listen.
His throat was parched and he ran his tongue over dry, cracked lips, but his action offered no relief. An entire loch lay only a few feet away, but he couldn’t muster the strength to drag himself to the bank and quench his thirst.
“Cold . . . so cold.”
Despite the sun beating down on him, he’d swear he was encased in ice. His life’s blood seeped from his wounds, soaking the ground beneath him. He tried to raise his head, but the excruciating pain radiating across his chest stole his breath away.
Was this what it felt like to die? If so, he prayed the Almighty would be merciful and take him now.
Bryce moaned, a shift in his position bringing on another nauseating wave of agony. He sucked in a short, sharp, gulp of air and stretched his arm out as far as he could, his fingers grappling in the dirt.
If only I could reach my sword.
Beads of perspiration dampened his brow. As the strength slowly drained from his body, drawing a simple breath became more difficult. The end grew near. No time to make amends for sins of the past, and he had committed his share.
Regrets? He had those, too. “Fallon.” He whispered her name then heaved a ragged sigh.
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