Welcome to the twenty-ninth day of my Almost Heaven West Virginia Blog Bash.
These pictures are all of the lovely Canaan Valley, WV. I thought Sue-Ellen would enjoy these best today and maybe remind her of her beloved Scotland.
Welcome to all my followers and visitors, I am having a month-long celebration in my husbands honor. My husband Denny is retiring from the Navy after serving for 24 years. We are packing up one last time and moving back to his home state of Wild Wonderful West Virginia. Each post will start off with a picture to showcase West Virginia. Everyday their will be a prize up for grabs and at the end we’ll be giving away some chocolate. Here we are in 2010 before our hike in Aspen Co after we had attended RomCon.
Please follow the rules posted at the end of each post to enter the daily contests and remember you don’t have to subscribe to win but I hope you decide to stick around. Also any post that contain super erotic material will carry the warning label so as not to shock or offend anyone upon opening.
Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a card-carrying Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent (free) trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty year career with the airlines. Bi-lingual, she flew international all those years, working her flights as foreign language speaker. Her flying career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned.
Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She spent fifteen years living in Europe and used that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles as possible. Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye. She visits Scotland often, insisting her trips give her inspiration for new books.
Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies and enjoys attending Highland Games. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a four-hundred-and-fifty year old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.
Sue-Ellen is happily married to her very handsome husband, Manfred, who she met many moons ago on a Munich layover. Her life is ruled by the most adorable Jack Russell Terrier in the world. He’s the only soul allowed to disrupt her when she’s on deadline. She wishes all dogs could be so loved and asks readers to consider rescue if they are thinking about getting a pet. We can’t change the world, but it is possible to make a world of difference to a needy animal.
Sue-Ellen also writes Scottish-set paranormals for Penguin/NAL under her pen name, Allie Mackay – www.alliemackay.com.
The Allie Mackay site is currently under construction.
I am afraid to say I have yet my friend Sue-Ellen in person, we have been corresponding by e-mail for a few years and of course I “see” her almost everyday on her blog Tartan Ink, yep it’s over there on my side bar. Her stories under both names are keepers and I consider them comfort reads. So let’s take a peek of some of her stories shall we?? Oh and don’t mind if we see a wee little old lady close by with a wee little red fox, that’s Devorgilla and Somerled, friends of Sue-Ellen and me, perhaps you already know her too.
MacKenzie Series, here is where the love started for me and many other readers.
Linnet MacDonnell was the youngest of seven sisters, and not the family beauty. With her flame-bright red hair, sharp tongue, and strange gift of second sight, no man wanted her. But the devil would take her. Bartered as a bride to her father’s long-sworn enemy, the nobly born Highlander, Duncan MacKenzie of Kintail, she had no choice but to enter a marriage with a man rumored to have murdered his first wife and said to possess neither heart nor soul.
Forbidding and proud, Duncan MacKenzie wanted only one thing from his new bride — to use her special gift to determine if young Robbie was truly his son. He never expected the MacDonnell lass to stubbornly follow her heart, chase away the darkness in his castle with light and laughter, and ignite a raging fire in his blood. How dare she defy him, and tempt a devil like him to feel what he feared most of all — love!
A Headstrong Lady A Battle-Torn Knight
And A Lesson In Temptation
Twice wed and twice widowed, Lady Caterine Keith has no need for a champion. She can fend off unwanted suitors on her and guard her Scottish stronghold without the help of any man. But her sister, knowing better, sends a make-believe husband – a knight with a battle-scarred face almost too frightening to behold. Sir Marmaduke Strongbow has a secret ambition. He wants not Caterine’s land, but her hand in marriage and her heart to own. With tantalizing caresses, he will show her how a real champion lays siege… and how love is impossible to fight.
For ten lusty years, Robbie MacKenzie has savored the sensual pleasures that only a man with no wife can taste. To the lassies of Scotland, he is a living legend, the sole heir of the famed Black Stag, chief of Clan MacKenzie. He is a prize catch indeed. But Juliana Mackay has no such interest in the rogue or his powerful family. Her mission – to deliver an unpaid debt for her dying mother – is the only thing that could force her within reach of the wayward knight. That is, until an accidental blow to the head sends her reeling right into the brawny arms of Robbie MacKenzie himself.
In the heat of the moment, their passions ignite. But Juliana has forgotten her own identity, as well as her mission – and Robbie has promised to marry a bride from a rival clan. How can these two star-crossed lovers resist the love that burns in their hearts and the desire that consumes their souls?
Fearless and outspoken, Lady Mariota MacNichol must run for her life. Accused of murdering the unworthy rogue she once loved, she boldly takes possession of deserted Cuidrach Castle, the one place her enemies would never look. Then the new laird of Cuidrach unexpectedly arrives…
Sir Kenneth Mackenzie is a fierce knight well-experienced in bawdy pleasures and willing wenches—though his last liaison left him wounded in pride and love. Chivalrous enough to open Cuidrach’s portals to a lady-in-distress, he keeps the way to his heart well-barred. But now the strong-willed Mackenzie is living with a fiery, passionate woman unafraid of his formidable reserve. Eating at the same table, warming themselves by the same fire…how long will it be before these two share the same bed?
On the eve of his return to Baldreagan castle, Highlander Jamie Macpherson can not believe his eyes: a golden-haired beauty haloed in the moonlight of St. Bride’s own glade, so delicate and fair she can only be a faery. The knight’s desire rises like a wave, and then crashes. For despite the treachery that has just made him the new Macpherson heir, he’s still betrothed to a noblewoman he’s never met…
Yet there’s magic—and passion—in this union. Fiery Aveline Matheson may look like a sprite, but she’s a flesh-and-blood bride eager to discover the pleasures of marriage. And woe to those who would stop their lovemaking! Avenging his slain kinsmen is only second to Jamie’s protecting his beloved…and keeping her in his arms forever.
Lady Gelis MacKenzie, one of the most desirable heiresses in the Highlands, yearns for love. When a vision shows her a darkly seductive man, she knows she’s seen her future betrothed. But when she finally meets the handsome stranger, she finds a man who has endured more than any warrior can bear. She must use all her wiles to convince him that love is worth any challenge.
With his dashing good looks and smoldering eyes, Ronan MacRuari, known as the Raven, is every woman’s dream. Yet with his late wife newly buried and the MacRuari curse haunting him, he weds only to satisfy his clan. Refusing to believe in curses, Gelis trusts the magic of her second sight. As she kisses away the Raven’s doubts, she unleashes a torrent of desire. Yet Ronan knows that loving Gelis places her in mortal danger. Soon he’ll fight dangerous forces to protect her as only a Highlander can — with his whole heart, his honor, and his life….
Darroc MacConacher spends sleepless nights dreaming of a raven-haired beauty who makes him ache with desire. Then his dream comes true: the lady with her lush curves and fair skin appears shipwrecked on his shores. Darroc is immediately drawn to her strength and beauty, and from the moment she lays eyes on this powerful, broad-shouldered warrior, Lady Arabella MacKenzie knows she’ll never want another man.
But theirs is a forbidden love. The MacKenzies drove the MacConachers from their lands and destroyed their honor. Now, Darroc can use this sapphire-eyed seductress to shatter his foes. Yet how can he deny the passion that burns between him and Arabella, and ruin the one woman who touches his very soul?
The MacLean Series
As chieftain of the Clan MacInnes, Lady Isolde will do anything to protect her people — including sacrifice herself to the enemy. Donall the Bold, laird of the hated MacLeans, lies locked in her dungeon awaiting execution. But rather than slay him, Isolde comes up with a daring plan to forge a lasting peace between their clans.
Though Donall curses his beautiful captor, only a madman would refuse to savor the pleasures beneath that tantalizing aura of dignity and grace. But Isolde offers a mere covenant … and Donall craves nothing less than total conquest. Vowing to steal her heart and take his freedom, the renowned warrior instead will find himself in a different kind of prison — one made of sweet, decadent passion, and one he may never wish to escape.
No lass is less suited for the convent than strong-willed Madeline Drummond. No man is a poorer candidate for penance than hot-tempered Iain MacLean. But Madeline is posing as a nun – long enough to take revenge on a murderous villain. And Iain is dutifully bringing a family relic to a holy shrine – as the price for his own reckless ways.
When the fiery Highlander and the fearless lady meet, pretenses are shed like lovers’ clothes and vows of chastity are scorched by a single kiss. Posing as husband and wife, the two firebrands join forces to reclaim Madeline’s ancestral home. And she may soon wonder whether ’tis a blessing or a curse to be the one true love of the Master of the Highlands!
Even a marriage by proxy can’t spoil the joy Lady Amicia MacLean feels when she is wedded to Magnus MacKinnon. With his quick wit and dashing smile, the roguish warrior captured her heart when she was still a girl. It’s not until he returns from battle that Amicia discovers the truth: the union was made to fill empty MacKinnon coffers with MacLean gold. Magnus knew nothing of this marriage. Honorable and proud, he prefers to rebuild his clan’s fortune coin by coin himself – and wants nothing to do with his bonny new bride.
But Amicia is not one to give up without a fight. She plans to invade Magnus’s bedchamber, offer tantalizing glimpses of what every husband has the right to see, and settle for nothing less than the total surrender of the most stubborn knight in the realm!
Sue-Ellens latest series the Highland Warrior series:
The king has ordered three clans to battle to the death: the one left standing will reign over the Glen of Many Legends. James Cameron, known throughout the Highlands as “The Devil,” leads his men with ruthless determination. He knows no weakness — until a headstrong, flame-haired beauty from a rival clan tempts him to abandon his ironclad loyalties.
Catriona MacDonald’s past encounters with James have proved that ladies who play with fire can get scorched. But her brush with this devil leaves her burning to feel his touch once more, even though the fierce warrior is her sworn enemy. Now “The Devil” must fight for his family, his honor, and his very life… even as he surrenders to his desire to possess Catriona at any cost.
Despite an official peace, old conflicts smolder in the Glen of Many Legends. Kendrew Mackintosh, Chieftain of his clan, is famed as both a bold and hot-blooded warrior and a sensual lover. He has no intention of settling down . . . until he kisses a forbidden beauty whose passion matches his own.
Highborn and gently raised, Lady Isobel Cameron has long harbored a secret fascination for the fearless, charismatic Mackintosh—even though her brother is his sworn enemy. When destiny draws them together for one night, she can’t resist him. But what begins as a flirtation soon becomes a fight for survival. A deadly new threat has come to the glen, and Kendrew and Isobel must learn to trust and protect one another—or pay the ultimate price.
“Kendrew Mackintosh is a howling madman.” Catriona found
her tongue at last, proving she knew the source of Isobel’s
Isobel flicked at her sleeve, too irritated to care.
“It is summer solstice.” She spoke her mind, images of
Kendrew’s big, powerfully muscled body kissed by the glow of
bonfires making her breath catch and her skin tingle. “The
Mackintoshes celebrate Midsummer in the old way.” She glanced at
the room’s tall window arches, her pulse quickening at the
polished gleam of the twilight sky. “On such a night, I can’t
help but wonder if he really does leap naked onto the cairns.”
“He is surely bold enough.” Catriona smoothed the bed
covers, resting her hands atop her slightly swollen belly.
“Everyone knows he’s wholly untamed.”
Isobel could’ve added more. She did imagine him standing in
the heart of his rock-hewn land, cold mist blowing around him,
the gold of his Thor’s hammer and arm rings glinting brightly.
“He fought ferociously at the trial by combat.” She bit
back how much his bravery impressed her. “The earth shook when
he stamped the haft of his war ax on the ground after the
“He is fearless, true enough.” Catriona shivered when a
chill wind swept the room, stirring the floor rushes. “Word is
he can trace his line back to the Berserkers, Odin’s
bloodthirsty, half-mythic body guards.
“So-o-o….” She laced her fingers. “He could well be doing
anything this night, including leaping naked onto his dreagan
But unlike her friend, she didn’t find the notion
The brisk air filling the chamber brought traces of damp
earth and pine, just a hint of distant woodsmoke. Soon the first
stars would start to glimmer. Beyond the thick forest that
separated their lands, Mackintosh bonfires would crackle and
Those who prayed to Odin would gather. Men would touch
hammer amulets and drink from mead horns. Blood would heat,
passions rising as the revelry commenced….
Isobel’s heart pounded.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing Kendrew on those stones.” She
glanced again at the windows, the night’s magic calling to her,
making her restless.
“The sight would ruin you for life.” Catriona sounded sure.
Isobel lifted her chin. “I think I’d be rather intrigued.”
So I have battled the dreadful dragons with Devorgilla’s help to get Sue-Ellen out of her writing cave, I’ve a few scratches here and there and came close to losing an ear if not for Somerled. She will be popping in after the noon hour to visit and chat. Before we take a look at her Allie Mackay novels let’s get to know her a wee bit better shall we but first let’s look at some Highland Games.
and here you can see for competition they do wear compression pants.
Z: Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
SE: I chose to write romance because I love happy endings. Real life can be hard. Escapist fiction (how I see romance) is a welcome break from our day-to-day cares. I write Scottish-set books because I’m of Scottish descent and was raised to love and appreciate Scottish history, culture, and lore. My medievals reflect my interest in that period, while my paranormals come from my fascination with ghosts, Highland magic, and Celtic myth and legend.
Z: What is your favorite comfort food?
SE: Potatoes anything. I’m a potato zealot. A well-dressed jacket potato is my idea of foodie bliss.
Z: Do you have a comfort read? Tell us about it.
SE: Cozy mysteries. I appreciate the atmosphere, quaintness, and quirky characters.
Z: Were you a bookworm growing up? Who did you read?
SE: Absolutely. I could read and write before kindergarten. Childhood favorites were Highlights Magazine and Childcraft books. I moved on to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, then the gothics of Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Daphne DuMaurier, etc. Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss hooked me on romance. For a while I left romance, reading only cozy mysteries. Then along came Jude Deveraux’s Knight In Shining Armor. Phenomenal book. It brought me back to romance.
Z: What is something that scares the heck out of you?
Z: I already knew that from Tartan Ink.
Z: If you could go on the Ultimate Vaca where would you go and who or what would go with you?
SE: Always Scotland. I’d take along nothing except the long, pleasured sigh that escapes me each time a plane (with me in it) lands at Glasgow airport.
Z: HHMMM, haven’t I been trying to talk you into taking me along one time…surely I won’t take up to much room in your suitcase???
Z: Who are some of your favorite authors?
SE: With the exception of Karen Ranney (love her books), I don’t read in my own genre. So I enjoy the fun and sexy sports romances of Kate Angell and Patricia Sargeant. Cozy mysteries make up most of my pleasure reading. I adore Judi McCoy’s Dogwalker mysteries. And am really looking forward to Duffy Brown’s upcoming Consignment:Murder mystery series, beginning in Oct. 2012 with Iced Chiffon. I also love the nonfiction ghost books by my longtime friend, Karen Stevens. She’s a genuine ghost hunter and writes wonderful books about her ghost hunting adventures.
Z: Research? How do you prefer to do it; plane/train/automobile, laptop or library?
SE: I love research. And I believe the best kind is doing the footwork. I only use settings I have personally explored in Scotland. I need to be able to close my eyes and ‘go there again’ when I write. I also have a huge personal research library. It’s filled with books on every imaginable topic that interests me: Scottish history, all things medieval, all things Viking, Druids, Celtic & Norse myth and lore, archaeology, weaponry, food histories, costume, medieval architecture, the paranormal, sacred places, the Black Death, monks and monasteries, ancient magic, etc. All titles I’ve been collecting and studying for decades, long before I ever considered writing. These are interests that will continue to be my passion even when I no longer write.
Z: Do you attend conferences? If so where can we “stalk” I mean go to find you and which is your favorite to attend?
SE: Generally, no. If I do attend a conference, it’ll be a small, regional gathering. I love those.
Z: What do you like to drink, nibble on or listen to while you write?
SE: Rivers of strong, black coffee. I don’t nibble. (too dangerous) I need absolute silence to write. I listen to classical music when I polish what I’ve written.
Z: Do you have kids? If so are they toddlers, school age, teens, college bound or “Hey Mom, I’m home again! or are you an empty nester?
Z: Sue-Ellen has a wonderful little Jack Russel named Em who keeps her in line and exercises her regularly.
Z: If you could have one of your books or series to be made into a movie which would it be and who do you see staring in it?
SE: My Allie Mackay title, Some Like It Kilted. It’s my favorite of all my books. I’d love to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Bran and Heather Locklear as Mindy. I’d also enjoy seeing the book’s ‘three ghosties’ come to life on screen. They’d be such a hoot.
Z: YES!!! As you know that is my favoritest book.
Z: Favorite TV shows?
SE: I rarely watch TV. CNN and the Weather Channel, that’s about it.
Z: To finish off, describe yourself in 5 words.
SE: Loves wild places & living quietly.
So let’s take a look at Sue-Ellen’s alter ego Allie Mackay
Tour guide Mara MacDougall stops at a London antique shop-and spots perhaps the handsomest bed ever. Then she bumps into the handsomest man ever. Soon Mara can’t forget the irresistible-if haughty-Highlander. Not even when she learns that she’s inherited a Scottish castle.
Spectral Sir Alexander Douglas has hated the Clan MacDougall since he was a medieval knight and they tricked him into a curse-the curse of forever haunting the bed (the very one that Mara now owns) that was once intended for his would-be bride. But Mara makes him feel what no other MacDougall has-a passion that he never knew he’d missed.
After stepping through a magical gateway, Kira Bedwell finds herself face-to-face with Aidan MacDonald, the irresistible Scottish highlander who has visited her in dreams. Now that their romance transcends dreams to reality, they find themselves under attack by Aidan’s enemies. And it will take all of their courage and will for their love to survive beyond time itself…
Cilla Swanner came to Dunroamin Castle in Scotland to get away from heartache and headache. But what she finds there may be more than she can handle. Long ago, the roguish Scottish knight known as Hardwick was cursed to wander the world forever, pleasing a different woman each night with no hope of fulfillment or true love. Then he meets Cilla—who may be his only hope for salvation.
A woman’s heart needs a loving home–
Even if it’s a little bit haunted.
Mindy Menlove lives in a castle that was transported stone-by-stone from Scotland. But when her fiancé dies in scandal and Mindy decides to sell the gloomy estate, her plans unravel. She must travel to the Hebrides, where she’s confronted by the castle’s original builder-who happens to be maddeningly irresistible and seven hundred years young.
Bran of Barra was a legendary chieftain. Since then he’s enjoyed his ghostly pleasures, until Mindy’s appearance disrupts them. Now, if the roguish Bran doesn’t change Mindy’s mind about his bonny homeland-and himself-neither of them will ever find any peace.
Margo Menlove loves everything Scottish-especially the legendary warrior hero Magnus MacBride. But while exploring in the Highlands she picks up a magical stone on the shore, and awakens to the sight of MacBride himself. And the reality may be much more dangerous-and passionate-than her dreams could ever be.
Kendra Chase is exhausted from her work as a ghost whisperer, so she’s been looking forward to her vacation in Edinburgh. But work awaits her as the tiny fishing village is being excavated, and supernatural uprisings have been reported.
Graeme MacGrath knows the source of the psychic trouble. The excavation is disrupting the protective veil between this world and darker, more ancient ones. He hates to admit it but he will need the fetching Kendra and her paranormal abilities to save the town he loves from unspeakable evil.
So today’s giveaway is a copy of Temptation of A Highland Scoundrel and a copy of Haunted Warrior from Sue-Ellen and in honor of Em I’m giving away a copy of Tails of Love from my library.
1. You must leave a meaningful comment, something more than Hi, Hello, or Great Post. Ask a question, squee like a fan girl or whatever you want as long as it’s appropriate.
2. Every comment counts so chat away. Please include your email in your comment.
3. Winners will be drawn 3 days after each post and a master list will be posted on Feb 17th. You will have until Feb 29th to email me at SeawitchReviews @ yahoo (dot) com. I will also send an email to each winner but if I don’t hear from you by the 29th a new winner will be drawn.