This is a word that is tossed around easily today. We speak of empowering the historically disenfranchised. Women particularly speak of empowerment. For hundreds of years we have struggled to rise above the roles we were allotted. We have gone from being chattel, property, in the middle ages to an age where nothing is out of our reach.

However there is one truth that we shouldn’t lose sight of. A woman’s own strength, her ability to cope, succeed or excel, has always come from within. The source of a woman’s empowerment is often the same as the source of her imprisonment—it is her own beliefs about herself and her abilities. Too many women, myself included, are willing to hold themselves down by their own perceived inadequacies. I suspect this has been true since the dawn of time.

Highland Courage is a medieval Highland romance. However, at the heart of the story is a young woman who has always believed she is less. Mairead grew up in the midst of a loving family and had every advantage. But she also had a secret, one that undermined her confidence and courage. It imprisoned her. Highland Courage is very much about Mairead’s empowering journey to confidence. Even though the setting is medieval, the issue addressed is very relevant today.

Highland Courage_300dpiHer parents want a betrothal, but Mairead MacKenzie can’t get married without revealing her secret and no man will wed her once he knows.
Plain in comparison to her siblings and extremely reserved, Mairead has been called “MacKenzie’s Mouse” since she was a child. No one knows the reason for her timidity and she would just as soon keep it that way. When her parents arrange a betrothal to Laird Tadhg Matheson she is horrified. She only sees one way to prevent an old secret from becoming a new scandal.

Tadhg Matheson admires and respects the MacKenzies. While an alliance with them through marriage to Mairead would be in his clan’s best interest, he knows Laird MacKenzie seeks a closer alliance with another clan. When Tadhg learns of her terrible shyness and her youngest brother’s fears about her, Tadhg offers for her anyway.

Secrets always have a way of revealing themselves. With Tadhg’s unconditional love, can Mairead find the strength and courage she needs to handle the consequences when they do?

Empowerment & secrets.  Thoughts?  Ceci’s giving an ecopy to one (1) lucky commenter.  Good luck, y’all!
Ceci’s sixth grade class predicted that she would be an author. “But I want to be a nurse!” she said, in her typically bossy style. As it turns out, she became both. She started her career as an oncology nurse at a leading research hospital, and eventually became a successful medical writer. In 1991 she married a young Irish carpenter who she met at a friend’s wedding. They raised their family in central New Jersey and now with their youngest off to college, Ceci is breaking away from “primary efficacy endpoints” and writing a few “happily ever after’s.”

Follow the author on Twitter @CeciGiltenan and Facebook CGiltenan

Author’s website: http://www.cecigiltenan.com