Tag Archive | Highland Heather Romancing a Scot

Collette Cameron: Passion and Plunder

Scottish Heather Honey

I never know what random thing my latest story will have me poking around the Internet in search of. For my Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, I’ve mentioned the use of heather in several of the books, hence the title. In books five and six, I ventured into the healing qualities of honey. I’d heard of the skin and medicinal benefits of honey before, and I was curious if honey from heather might have unusual properties. I was delighted at what I uncovered.

By Vicky Brock from Glasgow, UK – Honey Show 2, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35024402

As you no doubt already know, all honey provides many benefits:

  • Reduce throat irritation and cough
  • Heals wounds and burns
  • Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
  • Cancer and heart disease prevention
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

Made by bees brought to the Highlands in August for the express purpose of collecting nectar from heather blossoms, Scottish heather honey is touted as having “magical healing powers” and is referred to by the Scots as the “Champagne of all honeys.” Dubbed the “Rolls Royce” of honey in Britain, many claim it’s a cheaper alternative to New Zealand’s much praised Manuka honey. A recent study found heather honey to be more effective in treating topical infections than Manuka honey.

Scottish heather honey possesses an extraordinary antiseptic property, which makes it a favored natural remedy for treating cuts and wounds. I used that tidbit in book number six in the series. It has exceptional anti-bacteria fighting abilities and is known to treat MRSA as well as three other bacteria. It’s also a powerful anti-oxidant and contains high amount of minerals and proteins. An unusual feature of the dark amber honey is its texture, characterized by high thixotropy (extremely viscous). When at rest, it’s jelly-like, but when stirred or agitated, it becomes syrupy like other honeys until it settles into a gel again. It also has a high water content.

People either adore the medium-to-strong, even slightly bitter, woody taste and lingering peaty aftertaste, or dislike the flavor intently. Scottish Heather Honey is delicious in many dishes, but isn’t recommended for tea as the flavor is too strong for the brew. And yes, it’s used in the preparation of many alcoholic spirits such as mead. Those clever Scots.

Unfortunately, honey couldn’t cure my heroine’s father in Passion and Plunder, my fifth book in my Highland Heather Romancing a Scot series, but used in a salve in the sixth book, it helped heal my hero’s scars.

Are you a fan of honey? Any particular kind? Blackberry is mine. I love it in tea and with a special kind of biscuit made from my great-grandmother’s recipe. (You’ll find the recipe in my June 1 newsletter)

About Passion and Plunder (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, #5)

Would you sacrifice everything for the person you love, knowing you can never be together?

A desperate Scottish lady

Lydia Farnsworth—the sole surviving heir to the Laird of Tornbury Fortress—has lost nearly everyone she loves. Now her father lies on his deathbed. And as if this isn’t dire enough, he’s invited men from the surrounding area to a warrior’s contest—the winner to claim Lydia as his bride.

A Scotsman dueling with his past

Alasdair McTavish, son of Craiglocky Keep’s war chief, is a seasoned warrior in his own right. So when he’s sent to Tornbury to train the Farnsworth soldiers, he’s more than equal to the task.

When a dangerous adversary makes a move against Lydia, a dastardly scheme comes to light, and Alasdair realizes only he can protect Lydia.

Don’t miss the 5th installment in this sweeping historical Highland romance series—get your copy of Passion and Plunder for a romantic Scottish adventure you won’t want to put down.

 

Passion and Plunder releases May 24, but you can pre-order it now.

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Excerpt

Mustering her courage, she reluctantly raised her focus from the soft, worn leather encompassing his ridiculously broad chest.

“Dinna look so woebegone, lass.”

“What are we to do?” She stared up at him, refusing to permit her surge of tears to fall. “Da wouldn’t have forced either of my brothers to marry before assuming the lairdship. This stipulation reveals his lack of faith in me. In my gender.”

“Nae, he wouldn’t, but I think he believes he be protectin’ ye.” A throaty quality deepened his voice as he drew her into his arms. One large hand framing a shoulder and the other cupping her waist, he pressed her near.

God help her, his strong, comforting embrace felt splendid, like a long overdue homecoming. So secure and safe.

And a bit terrifying too.

She wanted to wrap her hands around his large frame, bury her head in his shoulder, and stay snuggled there for hours.

Perchance days.

Forever.

Desire blazed in his eyes as he tilted her chin upward at the same moment he dipped his lower. Her woman’s intuition recognized the passion bubbling beneath his composed demeanor.

About the Author

A bestselling, award-winning author, Collette Cameron pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Blessed with three spectacular children, fantastic fans, and a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she still lives in Oregon with dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

Admitting to a quirky sense of humor, Collette enjoys inspiring quotes, adores castles and anything cobalt blue, and is a self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

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Collette Cameron: Heartbreak and Honor

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Scottish Gypsies

Highland Travelers or Black Tinkers

By Collette Cameron

The term gypsy is a misnomer derived from Egyptian, much like the label Indian for Native Americans, and Romany Gypsies are quite different than the Highland Scottish Travellers or Black tinkers as they were known.

Though both groups, as well as at least a half a dozen other nomadic tribes, traveled throughout Scotland, the Roma’s origins trace back to India, whereas the Black Tinkers (in Gaelic-The Ceárdannan or the craftsmen) are mostly a genetic indigenous Scots.

That meant I had to rethink Tasara Faas, my heroine in Heartbreak and Honor.

I’d written a story with a part Roma heroine before, The Viscount’s Vow, but the Highland gypsies were vastly different. Everything from her dress, customs, and speech had to be researched because she’s far more like a Scotswoman than a Romany.

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Some Scottish Highland Traveler families do claim Roma heritage, and their Scottish–Gaelic cant contains Romany or Anglo-Romany words. In fact, some groups call themselves Nackin which is thought to be of Hindi origin.

No surprise there since the various tribes date back at least five hundred years in Scotland. However, the prevalence of the Roma influence is seen more in the Lowland travellers rather than the Highlands.

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The Black Tinkers language is secret and has never been recorded in writing, according to one source. Many hold typical Scottish surnames such as Stewart, Macmillan, MacDonald, and Cameron. They possess a strong belief in the importance of family and purity taboos, much like the Roma travellers.

And much like the European Roma, the Highland Travelers were (are) a maligned segment of population. Stereotyped as thieves, con men, and fortune tellers, stories were broadly circulated that gypsies would kidnap children. In an odd twist, gypsies’ feared abduction themselves. Many disappeared and were thought victims used in medical schools for dissection. Rumors abounded of illegitimate children of the gentry or haute ton, being sold or given to the gypsies as well.

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Highland Travelers were so despised, that during the 17th century, Scottish law ordered them to “quit the realm” or hang. Scottish Travelers toted their goods in carts and pitched bowed tents while the Roma typically lived in vardos, a type of caravan wagon. Some sources also claim the Highland Scottish Travelers used caravans as well.

Today, usage of the terms gypsy or even tinker is considered derogatory.

Though a Scottish Regency Romance, Heartbreak and Honor uses the abduction and persecution elements of the Scottish gypsies to help spread their unique, and often unfortunate, tale.

What unusual elements do you enjoy reading about in a historical romance?

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About Heartbreak and Honor

Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 3

Abducted by a band of renegade Scots, Highland gypsy Tasara Faas doesn’t hesitate to blacken her rescuer’s eye when the charming duke attempts to steal a kiss. Afterward, she learns she’s the long-lost heiress Alexandra Atterberry and is expected to take her place among the elite society she’s always disdained.

Lucan, the Duke of Harcourt, promised his gravely ill mother he’d procure a wife by Christmastide, but intrigued by the feisty lass he saved in Scotland, he finds the haut ton ladies lacking. Spying Alexa at a London ball, he impulsively decides to make the knife-wielding gypsy his bride despite her aversion to him and her determination to return to the Highlands.

The adversary responsible for Alexa’s disappearance as a toddler still covets her fortune and joins forces with Harcourt’s arch nemesis. Amidst a series of suspicious misfortunes, Lucan endeavors to win Alexa’s love and expose the conspirators but only succeeds in reaffirming Alexa’s belief that she is inadequate to become his duchess.

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Excerpt

“Duke? What’s a ruddy English duke doing sneaking into a Scottish keep’s chamber?” Tasara flinched. She hadn’t meant to speak aloud.

“Why, rescuing you, of course.”

Did he wink? Cocky fellow, wasn’t he? But then, he was a duke. The attitude came with the title, no doubt present from birth. Probably had his noble bum and snotty nose wiped with the finest linen or silk. Astonishing that he deemed to exert himself enough to muster a sweat. Didn’t nobility have servants do everything for them?

Muted voices and calls echoed from somewhere in the keep.

Attempting to recognize a voice, she tilted her head.

The horrific shrieks and roars of minutes ago had ceased, although an occasional shrill cry yet rang through the stone passageways, raising the hair along her nape.

“Ye be here to rescue us?” Holding Lala’s pudgy hand, György knelt on the bed, his ebony eyes wary and no doubt sprinkled with a dab of excitement too.

In the muted light, Tasara couldn’t be certain. Lads dreamt about adventures of this sort.

“I am, indeed, young sir.” His grace smiled, his teeth gleaming in the half-light. “Whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?”

György shook his sister’s grip loose.

She jammed her thumb in her mouth and toyed with the curls tumbling atop her left shoulder. She stared at the duke, her gaze wide and distrusting.

After scooting from the bed, György gave a handsome bow. “György Faas, Yer Highness, and these be me sisters, Tasara and Lala.”

“It’s Your Grace, György, not Your Highness.”

I think.

Tasara’s attention swung between the duke and her brother. Harcourt probably had been treated like royalty his entire life.

“Grace? Are ye sure, Tasara?” György pulled a silly face and snickered. “That be a lass’s name.”

The duke chuckled again, the rich timbre resonating from his chest. “So it is. Most embarrassing, I’ll admit, but I’m afraid someone started the ridiculous tradition far too long ago for me to change things now. I’m just grateful they didn’t select Chastity or Prudence.”

Aye, me too, Your Chastity.” György clutched his belly in glee and laughed harder. “Dinnae ye have a given name?”

“Indeed, I do. Several as matter of fact. I’m named Rochester after my father, though I prefer to be addressed as Harcourt or Lucan, which is part of my middle name, Lucan-Ashford.”

His agreeableness irked Tasara. No doubt he could charm the fur from a fox and have the creature thanking him for the honor of losing its hide.

About the Author

Collette Cameron copyBestselling, award-winning Historical Romance Author, Collette Cameron, pens Scottish and Regency Romances featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intrepid damsels who reform them. Mother to three and self-proclaimed Cadbury chocoholic, she’s crazy about dachshunds, cobalt blue, and makes her home in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. You’ll always find animals, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. To learn more about Collette and her books, visit collettecameron.com

Her award-winning Castle Brides Series, Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, and Conundrums of the Misses Culpeppers Series, as well as her other books, are all available on Amazon and other major retailers.

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Collette Cameron: Triumph and Treasure

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About Triumph and Treasure 

Book One in the

Highlander Heather Romancing a Scot Series

 A disillusioned Scottish gentlewoman.

Angelina Ellsworth once believed in love—before she discovered her husband of mere hours was a slave-trader and already married. To avoid the scandal and disgrace, she escapes to her aunt and uncle’s, the Duke and Duchess of Waterford. When Angelina learns she is with child, she vows she’ll never trust a man again.

A privileged English lord.

Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore, led an enchanted life until his father committed suicide after losing everything to Waterford in a wager. Stripped of all but his title, Flynn is thrust into the role of marquis as well as provider for his disabled sister and invalid mother. Unable to pay his father’s astronomical gambling loss, Flynn must choose between social or financial ruin.

When the duke suggests he’ll forgive the debt if Flynn marries his niece, Flynn accepts the duke’s proposal. Reluctant to wed a stranger, but willing to do anything to protect her babe and escape the clutches of the madman who still pursues her, Angelina agrees to the union.

Can Flynn and Angelina find happiness and love in a marriage neither wanted, or is the chasm between them insurmountable?

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Excerpt

“My lord, are these some of your blossoms?” Her Grace waved at the flower vases positioned throughout the room. “I’ve heard of your successful venture into breeding these beauties.”

That caught Mrs. Thorne’s attention. Her jewel-green eyes swept the roses. A line formed between her brows, and she mashed her lips together, lowering her gaze to her cup. She took a dainty sip of tea.

Didn’t she care for roses? Or perhaps the tea displeased her. Dolt. He ought to have had coffee served as well, since she preferred the beverage.

“Oh, indeed they are.” Pride rang in Grandmamma’s voice. “See those stunning blooms on the mantle? Have you ever seen roses that particular shade of pink? Why, they appear almost lavender. Makes me think of fresh highland heather on the Scottish moors. And Flynn has a rose that is almost black.”

“Mrs. Thorne, don’t you like roses?” Franny also noticed Mrs. Thorne’s expression.

The Duchess chuckled indulgently. “With a name like Angelina-Rose, of course she does. Tell them of your gardens in Salem. Your mother wrote of your fascination with the flower.”

A becoming flush pinkened Mrs. Thorne’s high cheekbones.

So, she entertained a penchant for roses after all. Precisely the excuse he needed to invite her to tour his conservatories and spirit her away from the watchful eye of the duchess. Franny could accompany them and act as chaperone.

Flynn controlled the satisfied grin threatening to twist his lips. “Did you know the great bard, Shakespeare, professed a fondness for them? He proclaimed, ‘Of all the flowers, methinks the rose is best.’”

Mrs. Thorne nodded, her interest fixed on a painted porcelain vase poised on a side table. “I’m partial to them myself, though I cannot claim such a complicated endeavor as breeding them. I simply tended a few humble plants in our gardens. I don’t believe they numbered in excess of ten in all.”

About the Author

Collette CameronAward winning, multi-published historical romance author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. A Pacific Northwest Native, Collette’s been most of her life, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.

Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers.

She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

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