Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why Highlanders? By Terry Spear

My friend Terry Spear has a new historical romance which just released, so I asked her to guest blog. Welcome Terry!

Thanks so much for having me!

I'd love to give an autographed free copy of Winning the Highlander's Heart to a lucky winner who comments on today's blog. The cover will not be the same featured. The Accidental Highland Hero is the second in the Medieval Highland romance.

Why Highlanders? My great grandmother was in love with all things Scots, which I inherited from her! She was the descendant of a proud Highlander, Malcolm MacNeill, who worked for the Duke of Argyll. His daughter, who might have been born on the other side of the sheets, Elizabeth Campbell, was still considered a lady, and ran off with her love, the commoner MacNeill. It's a true life love story in Scotland where a woman would give up her wealth and rank to be with the Highlander she loved. The Duke was said to have offered the proud MacNeill as much land as he could walk in a day, but MacNeill wouldn't have it. Instead, he bought passage to the Americas, to North Carolina, only the ship was sailed by Cpt MacDonald, whose father was the minister in the Campbeltown kirk, and one of the captain's brothers owned land in Prince Edward Island, where he was having a difficult time getting settlers to settle the wilderness.

So the story goes, Cpt MacDonald took the Highlanders to PEI instead of North Carolina, wrecked the ship, and though the settlers refused for sometime to go ashore, they finally had to find food and water. Indians on the land showed the settlers how to hunt for seal or they would have died during the harsh winter without homes to shelter them. Elizabeth Campbell died, leaving behind three small children. One was my direct ancestor, a 6 or 7 year old boy, another older boy by about 9, and a very young girl. The girl and my direct ancestor were raised by different families and then married into those families. All were have said to have come from Scotland on the same ship that mine had traveled on. It was said that Elizabeth had taken furs and jewels with her and used these to barter with the Indians.

My grandmother and others in the family felt Elizabeth had let the family down by leaving her home in Scotland for a life and hardship in PEI, in which she didn't survive for long. When the Duke's family eventually had no issue to carry on the title, my grandmother and great grandmother were visited by Scotland Yard as they were searching for the family Bibles that would prove their claim that they were descendants of the earlier Duke. A family who was more distantly related was able to prove their tie and claimed the title and estates. :)

And so that's why I love the Highland Scots. Because sometime in the distant past, my mother's family were from Scotland, both tied to the commoners and royalty too. Love bloomed between them and though it didn't have an entirely happy ending, for a while, Elizabeth and Malcolm were lovers united.

My Playfairs are of Scotland also, and the eldest son was a brilliant scientist, another a famous architect, and another, the one I'm directly descended from also brilliant (inventing the bar and circle graphs we studied in school) and a scoundrel too (blackmailing a duke over the legitimacy of a couple of children the duke claimed were his own, and Playfair claimed were not).

I salute our rich history, no matter where we're from and continue to write about Scottish scoundrels in fictional books of romance, passion, adventure and mystery.

If you'd been the Duke's daughter, would you have run off with a man you loved, or waited for someone who had money and title? When I've asked this before, some have said they want both, but that's too easy, and ye must choose one or the other. :)

Thanks again for having me here! May all your historical readings give you pleasure, take you into worlds you can only dream about, and satisfy your quest for love and truth.

Terry Spear

Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences and loves all things Celtic because of her Scottish and Irish ancestry where true love flowered in the Scottish Highlands and in Ireland . She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses. Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of Heart of the Wolf (Publishers Weekly's Best Book of the Year), Destiny of the Wolf, To Tempt the Wolf, Legend of the White Wolf, Seduced by the Wolf, Winning the Highlander’s Heart, The Accidental Highland Hero, Deadly Liaisons, The Vampire… In My Dreams (young adult) and numerous articles and short stories for magazines.

The Accidental Highland Hero
ISBN: 978-0-9819896-6-2

Lady Ellis Dunbarton didn't think life could get any worse, until her loving cousin dies and Ellis learns she is to wed the man her cousin was to marry. Not by a change of contract, though. Instead, by deceit. If he learns she is not her cousin, Agnes, her life is forfeit. Crossing the Irish Sea, her ship sinks, she survives, but temporarily loses her memories. When a Highland Clan takes her in, she remembers one thing. She must flee at all costs and disappear. She knows if her family learns of her whereabouts, her life is over.

James MacNeill must take a bride or give up his holdings to one of
his younger brothers. Malcolm has already taken to wife, the fair Lady Anice of Brecken. Dougald is the next one in line to govern the MacNeill Clan if James does not wed and provide an heir. But when James discovers his cousin and advisor have rescued a half-drowned lass from the sea, there's speculation she is of the enemy clan. Returning her to them is his plan, since he has no intention of using one of their lasses as a bargaining tool. But his mother has another notion--use the lass as a means to entice one of the ladies he is interested in marrying, to visit him and commit to marriage. And then return her to her clan, if she is agreeable.

Only nothing works out as anyone plans.

Terry Spear's Blog


Debby said...

I find Highlanders to be so very strong and sexy. If I was a Duke's daughter an I fell inloe wiht a highlander, I would run off with him. But since I was not raised as a Duke's daughter, I might feel differently if I had been.
debby236 at att.net

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

LOL, Debby! If I was forced to marry someone old and decrepit, who married me only because I was the Duke's daughter, but who had title in his own right, I might prefer a more youthful man I loved who had nothing to give me but that love and give up the way of privilege. :)

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

And thanks so much to Nicole for asking me to guest blog today! :) Hope everyone has a terrific TGIF!

Cynthia Owens said...

Wonderful post, Terry! I love the story of your family ending up in Prince Edward Island. I have some very fond memories of that island, having spent some wonderful vacations there.

As for being the daughter of a Duke and running off with a Highlander, definitely! True love always wins in the end, no matter the hardships!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, Cynthia! I wanted to go to PEI with my mother before she died, but it wasn't to be. She was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but we always wanted to see PEI. I agree, true love wins out!

Nicole North said...

Welcome, Terry! So glad you're here today! By the way, everyone, The Accidental Highland Hero is a fantastic, fun, romantic story with wonderful adventure! I loved it!!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks so much, Nicole! I'm off to work! :) Have a super TGIF!!!

Freedom Writer said...

Nice post, Terry. I too have Scottish Ancestors. I would someday like to go to Scotland and discover more about their story. I have several Highlander stories rolling around in my brain, but there are other stories in line ahead of them.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Isn't that always the way? So many stories to write, not enough time to write them??? :) I'm working on Taming the Highland Wolf right now, which is also set in Scotland, only it features werewolf packs. :)

Anita Clenney said...

What a wonderful story! It was as engaging as a novel. You must be so proud to have such a great history. I think there is some Scottish blood in me, but I know almost nothing about my family tree.

I also write about Highlanders, but mine are modern day warriors(for the most part) and yes, I would absolutely run off with the man I loved. I've always said I'd rather live in a tent in the woods with a man I loved, than in a castle with a man I didn't.

The book sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I had no idea Terry wrote more than her 'Wolf' paranormals! As an avid reader (and writer) of Scottish historicals, I will add her works to my tbr pile.

diva donna said...

I love the Scottish Highlanders. And if I was a Dukes Daughter I'd hope I had a bit of a Spine. And refuse to be forced to marry someone I didn't find attractive and love. I'd want the Hunky Highlander if he was a good man and I loved him and I'd want to have many of his strong Highland children to carry on his good name.

NC said...

I have visited Scotland twice and absolutely fell in love with it and it's history. This has only added to my enjoyment of your books. Thanks for letting us know more about The Accidental Highland Hero!

If I had been the Duke's daughter I would definitely have waited for love! ctoan72(at)gmail(dot)com

Jessica said...

I would like to think that I wouldn't wait on love, I'd go out and find it! I know in the 'old' times this was easier said than done, but dagnabit, I'm as stubborn as any Scot, it's in the blood ya know.

Having a mix of Scot and German in the bloodline, whooo wheee, makes for some interesting times! lol

Love your books Terry, can't wait to get my hands on the new ones!!!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Terry! What an awesome post! I loved the story! I'm afraid money isn't enough, so even though it would be nice to have both, I'm afraid I would go with my hearts desire even if he was pennyless!!!So my sexy Highlander would win out of money and title!

:O) Andrea

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Your question is easy to answer - I'd give it all up for love of a Highlander. I am also of Scottish decent and love the history that comes along with my family - some of which were wild and not so nice. Maybe that's why I love all things Scottish except maybe haggis. ;)

Your stories sound absolutely yummy to read. It has always been difficult for me to walk past a book with a kilt on it. Nice to have a chance to learn of your great heritage.

Jody said...

That idea of staying within your own social strata as so strong in Scotland that after the Battle of Culloden well into mid 1780's you had groups of young noble women who lived in Edinburgh and who formed spinster communities. This was because after Culloden so many young Highland of a certian noble class had died and the marriagable male pool was gone. Many young women were not allowed or at least listened to their families, to marry beneath them and were taken care of by their families living as that one maiden aunt in Edinburgh.

Though Scots but not a highlanders my 2xgreat grandparents were of different social classes among the common man and they had to leave Scotland to be together first going to Liverpool and then to Conn and then Wisconsin. From that point on they had no conection with family back in Scotland so this was not just common of the noble class.

Ellie said...

I love stories like this. If I were the Duke's daughter, I'd run away with my true love. What good would it be to have the money and a title if I were miserable with out the love of my life?

You can contact me at:

Jane L said...

This sounds like a great read! I have to say if I were a Duke's daughter, I would probably always be in trouble. So running off with a highlander that I loved would most likely be normal! LOL! Have a wonderful weekend!

Teresa Reasor said...


I too love anything Scottish especially those Scottish Alpha Males.

And I loved your story about your family. I know you'll sell a million copies of this latest release.

Write on,
Teresa R.

Virginia said...

I love me some highlanders that's for sure! I would run off with a highlander in a heartbeat, they are so strong and sexy!


Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

*sigh* I was halfway through commenting on comments when my laptop at work during lunch break decided to go into updating mode and shut down. Now, "no, no, no," to laptop updates must really mean "yes, yes, yes!" I stared in horror as the computer shut down after I pushed "cancel" on the update. *sigh*

Thanks, Anita! I loved the oral history, and then researching the basis. So much more than just names and dates of births and deaths. :) A tent with a Highlander love would definitely be hotter than a cold castle with a Highlander who wasn't loving in the least. :)

Anonymous--woohoo! Thanks for taking a look at my medieval work! Yeah, I love historicals. That's partly why my werewolves live long lives so I can show glimpses of the past. :)

Donna, women with spine are heroines in my book! Love definitely beats money.

NC, that's terrific that you could see Scotland, not once, but twice! Thanks about the book! I'm ready to go to Scotland now!

Jessica, go for it!!! Don't you think a Highlander would love you for it? Hmmm, of course he would. :) Thrilled you love my books! Thanks so much!

Chicks of Characterization, thanks! In psychology I learned that money was a dissatisfier. In other words, we could never been satisfied with the money we have. But with a Highland hunk to love? We'd be totally satisfied. :)

Paisley, I agree. My grandmother would say they were all a bunch of wild Scots. But my great grandmother was in love with them. My grandmother's twin sister married a Scot and they often went back to Scotland to visit his family. :)

You're right, Jody.

I so agree, Ellie. Money and title do nothing for a body. Having the one you love, and the children they had of that loving relationship meant all the world to them.

LOL, Jane!!! I'd be there with you! :) Always in trouble, not doing or saying what I should in proper company. Yes. :)

Woohoo, Teresa, that would be so neat! Thanks so much! Here's toasting to a million sales. :)

Hope everyone had a lovely Friday! I just got home from work, so I'm off to write some more on Taming the Highland Wolf, speaking of Scottish alpha hunks! :)

Have a great Easter weekend!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

whoops, you sneaked in there, Virginia, while I was writing my novel length comments! :)

I'm with you! :)

Aislinn said...

I would have run off with the highlander, no question.

I love it when family history reads like a novel.

Chelsesa B. said...

Oh, I would have ran away with the man I loved. Definitely :-)

marybelle said...

Kilts & claymores & I am hooked. Wild country & wild men. LOVE IT ALL!!


J K Maze said...

What a fascinating heritage you have, definitely inspiring. To answer your question, I'd choose the love, not the money.

I've recently discovered a possible connection to Scotland and am planning on investigating.

I've put your name on my list of authors, and I definitely what both books featured in this blog.


librarypat said...

Sounds great. The Highlands make such a wonderful setting for a good romance story. Politics, clans, english interference, the Highlands themselves all combine to make good stories.
It is wonderful that you can trace your family's history the way you have. I'm sure it was different then, but PEI is a wonderful place. We had one of our best vacations there and on Cape Breton Island, both places with a lot of Scottish influence.
Marry for love or for a title? Life is too short to spend it in anything but a good, caring relationship and neither money or a title will guarantee that.
Having been a Duke's daughter, she knew what the money and position would give here, also what it would not. She was in a better position than most to make that decision.
Have not yet read any of your books. I have heard good things about LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF, I have just started exploring the paranormal genre. I didn't realize you wrote medieval books too.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Sally said...

Money and title as I'm sure I would have been the scullery maid with hopes of neither. Marrying for love, even the stable hand, who would have that wonderful accent, would be enough.

Amanda Forester said...

That is a great story Terry! I love that she followed her heart and married her love. Though maybe they should have stayed in Scotland - the whole dying on PEI wasn't exactly the happy ending I was hoping for. Still a great story and that it's your own makes it quite special. Good luck with your newest release - I love Highlanders!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Aislinn, I would have too!

Chelsea B, Me too!!!

Marybelle, don't you just love his muscles??? I love the action type of shot. :)

Woohoo, thanks so much, Joan! Good luck on your research! It's so much fun when you can discover interesting family history like this.

Hi Librarypat, so agree with you about all the conflict inherent in Scotland...I love all things to do with history. I find it fascinating! I'd love to go to PEI. One of these days!!

LOL, Sally!! Yeah, love over money wins out. :)

Thanks so much, Amanda! I thought the same, that why couldn't the MacNeill have given up a little of his pride and taken the land the Duke offered him. But on the other hand, he wouldn't have been his own man, and I'm sure he would have been treated like an outcast. It was better to cut all ties.

peggy said...

I would have to run off with the man i was in love with.peg360@hotmail.com

Cathy D. said...

Wonderful story Terry. I love Highlander stories. I was fortunate to visit Scotland once and spent 2 weeks climbing through old castles and cairns. Scots people tell great tales, but darn didn't find me any Highlanders!

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

olalalal love highlanders accent

and they always seem so strong and manly

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Peggy and Blackroze, yeah, agree... :)

Oh, Cathy D, that's horrible! But at least you enjoyed the castles!!! :)

Zita said...

I'd have waited for the one with title and money. Then I would have poisoned him and taken the one I loved. LOL!

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carol L. said...

I happened by and noticed your post. I truly enjoyed reading about your ancestors. It's wonderful being able to link back in time.
I absolutely love every book I can get my hands on with those beautiful Scottish Highlanders.Love everything Irish/Scottish.
I definitely would have to go with the Highlander and Love. No way I could marry some ancient older man because of a title and/or money.
I have the 2 titles from the post and I'll be reading them soon. :)
Carol L.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Ohmigosh, Zita, I would not want to be a titled lord around you! LOL :)

Thanks so much, Carol!!! Yeah, what if the man with the title and money lost it? Titled lords did lose their heads from time to time. Then where would you be? With a man who had no title, no power, no money and didn't love you in the first place! So much, much better to find love! :)

LaRonda said...

What a great story to get to pass down through your family. Money, while it may not bring happiness, certainly can make things easier, especially back then. That said, I hope that I would be brave enough to follow my heart rather than "settling" for the comfort of money and a title.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

LaRonda, yes, it would take a brave and determined woman to go against the Duke. :) My great grandmother always said she would have stayed with the Duke and married with her class. :) Although in truth, when a Frenchmen, dressed as one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders punched out her boyfriend at the Chicago World's Fair, she fell in love with the Frenchmen. So she was really more interest in the rogue type too.

jellybelly82158 said...

Hi Terry,
I love your urban fantasy books. I am going to have to try your highland books. Will be glad when the next book in your Wolf books will be out.

Julie S.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Woohoo, thanks so much, Julie! You made my night. I'm thrilled your loving the Wolf books! Next one out in August! Thanks! Hope you love the Highlander books too! :)

Anonymous said...

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Y. Bressani said...

Wonderful post!

In answer to the question, I'd like to claim that, yes, I would wait for love.

Having said that, there is also a part of me that goes 'wait a minute.....what about the practicalities?'

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Y. Bressani--I agree! :) It would have been nice if she'd gotten both--the love and kept her status. But...that's the romance part of me.

Kathy said...

I would have to run of with the man I loved, especially if he were a Highlander. A Highlander's heart is worth so much more than a title or money, once you have that you have the world.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

:) Kathy, a Highlander's heart, and body, and soul. Yes! :)

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

JK Maze, you're the winner! Thanks so much for everyone's comments! :)