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Monday, November 2, 2009

Twisting Legends: The Amulet in Kilted Lover

A magical Celtic amulet is an important element in my latest release, Kilted Lover. Though the story is contemporary, the amulet is seven hundred years old. My idea is based on the Ring of Dalny. According to legend, Dalny was the Queen of Partholan, one of the first races to inhabit Ireland, more than two thousand years ago. Since Highlanders are descendants of the Irish, the Ring of Dalny ended up in Scotland. I had read somewhere (which I can't find now!) that the Ring of Dalny, which had a blue stone, was stolen from a Scottish Museum and never found. Whether all this is real history is unclear, but imagine if it were. And imagine the ring has magical powers. It would be worth a fortune.

The way I twisted this legend for my own story was to change the name of the ring to Glaminy and create a companion piece of jewelry, a magical peridot and gold amulet worn as a pendant. Instead of being in a museum as the ring was, the amulet has been passed down for many generations through the heroine's family. It is so old, she doesn't even know its history or its purpose. But someone else does, a thief who is an expert of antiquities. He knows it's worth millions and he's determined to have it.

The amulet in my story has Celtic symbols and Gaelic words carved into it but these are almost worn away by time. These words Tha fios fithich agad, mean "You have a raven’s knowledge."
In Transactions, Volume 12 by Gaelic Society of Inverness 1885-86, raven's knowledge is said to mean "knowledge more than is natural. The raven was believed to possess supernatural knowledge, and of coming events in particular."

Not much is known about the mysterious Glaminy Amulet in my story. It is like a forgotten piece of history that suddenly comes to life and causes all kinds of chaos--greed, danger, passion. The peridot glows brightly at times, or flashes of light pass through it. Depending on what is going on, it can grow warm to the touch, or burning hot.

Kilted Lover: Chapter 1 (excerpt)

“My amulet isn’t for sale,” Leslie Livingston said for the second
time, wishing this line at the refreshment stand would move
forward already. Every minute that the Charleston sun beat down
on her was another step toward dehydration. And the jerk
harassing her about the amulet made the situation twice as
“Come now, luv, I’ll give you a hundred US for it.” The gray-
haired Englishman sipped his cola. Too bad she couldn’t have
gotten in line ahead of him.
“No, thanks.” Her grandmother had given her the amulet years
ago and she would never part with it. Even if it was worth only ten
dollars, the sentimental value was priceless.
“Two hundred, and I’m being very generous.” The man beside
her inched closer. His black dress pants and white button-up shirt
seemed out of place at the Scottish Games.
She took a step back, hating close-talkers. “Nope, sorry. Why
are you so interested?”
“I’m a jeweler and it’s an unusual piece. Two-fifty?”
Leslie sighed, though she felt like screaming. “No,” she said in a
firmer tone.
“You’ve got to be joking. It’s only a peridot, for God’s sake. It
can’t be worth any more than that.” His pale gray eyes took on a
menacing quality.
Leslie was tempted to grab his drink and pour it over his head.
“Clearly it is, or you wouldn’t want it so badly.”
“How much did you pay for it?”
“It was a gift.” Move forward, people, she mentally shouted at
those in line ahead of her.
“Three hundred, and you’ll be robbing me blind.”
“Leave me alone,” she said through clenched teeth. “Even if
you offered me a thousand dollars, the answer would still be no.”
The man’s hand shot out toward her chest and the amulet. She
jumped back and slammed into a body so solid that it didn’t budge.
Big hands caught her upper arms.
“What the hell are you doing?” The deep voice almost growled
the words.
“I’m sorry—” Leslie began. But his eyes were fixed with
malicious intent upon the British man.
“The lady said no. So beat it.”
With her back pressed against his hard chest, she felt his words
“Fine.” The Brit looked like he wanted to snarl, but he strode
away, muttering about ignorant Americans.
Her rescuer released her.
“Thank you.” Leslie couldn’t help but stare up—way up—into
his sexy face. His narrowed, sea-green gaze was pinned on
someone far off to her left. The frown and clenched jaw
emphasized his rugged, masculine bone structure. She noted his
long, sun-streaked sandy hair, the white T-shirt stretched over his
enormous chest, and the plaid kilt belted at his waist. A low-slung
silver chain held a black leather sporran in place at the front of his
kilt. Male earthiness emanated from his skin. But for the t-shirt, he
might have been a fearsome warrior transported through time from
the Scottish Highlands.
“No problem.” He fully focused on her, and the temperature
climbed ten degrees. That made it around ninety in the shade, not
unusual for September in the Low Country.
Music swirled from bagpipes in the distance. Voices mixed with
laughter, and for an instant, she imagined herself far, far away with
this luscious hunk. In Scotland? Chills and heat raced over her
“That is an unusual amulet. What makes it light up?”
“What?” The large peridot encased in gold was indeed glowing.
She lifted the stone and the heat from it surprised her. “I have no
Though her grandmother had given it to her fifteen years ago,
today was the first time she’d worn it. The story of its origins was
lost in the mists of time. She’d always considered it gaudy and
unfashionable, but she thought it appropriate today, a Celtic amulet
worn to Scottish games.
“How old is it?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” Now was he interested in it, too? Surely not. He
didn’t look as if he would wrestle her for it.
“It’s your turn.” His attention lifted to her eyes and held her
captive with the power of his stare.
Okay, that was just too sexy. Heat and awareness rushed over
her. “My turn?”
He grinned and gestured toward the vendor.
“Oh, sorry.” She spun around, feeling a bit lightheaded, not to
mention idiotic, and placed her order. Dear God, he was yummy.
She had the mad urge to lick him.
That’s just stupid, Les. You’re a mature, responsible, respected
veterinarian. You don’t have those kinds of thoughts.

Nicole North - Kilted Lover, Red Sage
Copyright © Nicole North, 2009
All Rights Reserved, RED SAGE PUBLISHING, INC.


Carly Carson said...

Great excerpt! I might have to buy the book. lol I love ancient myths, symbols, etc. And it is so annoying when you read something and then can't find it again.

Pamala Knight said...

OMG! I think that we've researched some of the same Celtic legends Nicole, and you've woven a wonderful story by twisting your legend. It gives me hope for my own myth altering tale.

I'm really enjoying Kilted Lover. Such an awesome and compelling tale. Thanks for sharing!!

Nicole North said...

Carly, thanks!! Yes, when I went to look for that info about the ring being stolen from a museum, I couldn't find it. Argh! Anyway, the neat thing about fiction is, I could change it the way I wanted.

Pamala, thanks!! I'm thrilled you're enjoying it!! Celtic legends are fun to read about and explore. Plus if you need to alter the tale, or change the name of it to fit your fiction story, you can.

Shannon Robinson said...

Love the excerpt Nicole! Very intriguing! Your story is definitely on my TBR list now!

Nicole North said...

Thanks tons, Shannon!! Hope you enjoy! Hugs!

Nancy Lee Badger said...

Sexy! Hot!Very descriptive! I can taste the vendor's meat pies and smell his athletic scent. Whew!

Nicole North said...

Thanks Nancy!! Since you attend a lot of Highland Games, I'm glad it felt real to you.

Luanna Stewart said...

Fabulous excerpt! I'll add this one to my "need to buy" list.

Eliza Knight said...

Excellent excerpt and fabulous background! I love stories that are based on history or lore.

booklover0226 said...

Love the excerpt and I'm ready to buy the book... NOW!

Tracey D
booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

Nicole North said...

Lu, thanks!! Hope you enjoy!!

Eliza, thanks!! I love browsing through myths and legends, then seeing where I could take one in a story.

Tracey, thanks!! Hope you enjoy the story!! Be sure to let me know what you think of it.

By the way, if anyone would like to join my newsletter:

I give away stuff! :)

Dorthy said...

Great excerpt!!! I have to go get this book, can't wait to see what happens next.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Thanks for the link to your newsletter too.

Nicole North said...

Wow thanks, Dorthy! Hope you enjoy it!! :)

Patricia Barraclough said...

Highland games, men in kilts, celtic jewelry and a sinister bad guy. Sounds about right for my kind of book. Having attended many highland games, all those things are usually there, just the magic has been missing.
I'll be looking for this book.

Nicole North said...

Thanks Patricia!!! Those are some of my favorite things, too. :)

Chicks of Characterization said...

You have another winner here Nicole! Loved the Excerpt!!!!


Nicole North said...

Thanks so much, Andrea!! Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

I have read that excerpt like five times now (actually the longer one in your newsletter) and I want that book NOW!! lol! I'm so getting that one as soon as I get paid again... :)

Nicole North said...

Wow, thanks tons, Mur!! I'm thrilled you like the exerpt! :) Great to hear from you!

librarypat said...

Patricia Barraclough said...
Highland games, men in kilts, celtic jewelry and a sinister bad guy. Sounds about right for my kind of book. Having attended many highland games, all those things are usually there, just the magic has been missing.
I'll be looking for this book.

November 3, 2009 12:16 AM