My Highlander Husband The Clan MacLaren Book 1 by Nancy Pennick Genre: Sweet Historical Romance
Volatile times engulfed 1715 Scotland. Threats of a Jacobite uprising hung in the air. Lady Juliet Kingston traveled to Glenhaven with her entourage to meet and marry Laird MacLaren’s son with the hopes their union might help calm the rumblings of war—an Englishwoman weds a Scottish Highlander. Juliet longs for home and the man she left behind, until she meets Ross MacLaren. Both are stubborn and strong, but find love. Now a threat comes from a different front, one Juliet cannot fight. She gives up her husband and home to protect those she has come to love and returns to England with John, her former beau. Will she ever find her way back?
**My Highlander Husband is PG-13 Moderate Heat Level
“No, Eva, you are right. He seemed reserved.” Juliet recalled staring into his cool hazel eyes, unable to tell what he thought. “He was kind.” She pictured him towering over her, his bow and the kiss to her hand. But when he looked up at her, his smile did not reach his eyes. Her stomach twisted in a knot. “He is the one who requested an English bride for his son. Mother said it would be a union that helps both countries.”
“If you wish to think he is kind then let it be so. Sit.” Eva pointed to the chair in front of a mirror. “I will fix your hair.” She worked without speaking, brushing out Juliet’s long locks.
“What are you thinking?” Juliet sat without moving to make Eva’s job easier. “I know you have an opinion.”
“I am not supposed to have one. My job is to serve you.”
“When we are in private, you are my friend. I need to hear your thoughts.”
Eva stepped in front of Juliet, comb in hand. “I think it odd we were not given a royal greeting. The laird had to be summoned when we arrived. He greeted you and sent you to this suite.”
“We may have arrived earlier than expected. The laird said a feast has been planned in my honor tonight.” When she was shown her room, Juliet thought the accommodations were much smaller and sparse by English standards. The suite had two rooms, a bedroom and boudoir, but having time to study the décor, she deemed it tastefully done. The four-poster bed had a red velvet canopy with matching bed cover and beautiful tapestries hung on the paneled walls.
“Well then,” Eva said as she walked over to a table, “all is settled.” She returned with a bouquet of flowers in her hand. “I picked some wildflowers in the field. When I am done with your curls I will place them here.” She touched the back of Juliet’s head. Her hand brushed the side of Juliet’s neck as she reached for a lock of hair.
The contact made Juliet think of her future husband. How would he touch her? Did he want to touch her even if he did not know her? Of course, that was what all men wanted. Her mother told her so. She had pulled Juliet aside before she left and said, “Oh, my sweet daughter, I only have time to tell you this. Strange things happen to men when they take a woman to bed. Be prepared to accept what happens.”
Nancy Pennick grew up and still lives in Northeast Ohio, outside Cleveland, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is a young adult, historical romance and romantic suspense author, tea lover and retired teacher moving on to her favorite hobby, writing.
Nancy is married and has one son who helps her when she's challenged by tech, which may be more often than he likes!
Visit her at www.nancypennick.com
Nancy Pennick – Author of Romance Novels: Young Adult Sci-Fi, Historical, and Suspense
From the past to the present. From time travel to future worlds, love ties them together.
My Highlander Husband
The story is set in the Highlands of Scotland just before the Jacobite rising of 1715. Clans were family and they didn’t trust outsiders. The Jacobites were determined to win back their country and put James Edward Stuart (the old pretender) on the throne.
Meanwhile back in England, Juliet Kingston is unknowingly “sold” to King George I. (Back story – her father was in debt to king. Father agreed if he didn’t pay back in time, the king could use his daughter in negotiations with the Scots – which is exactly what happened.) She’s sent to Scotland and leaves behind the love of her life (or so she thinks) Lord John Alder, who really is a calculating sociopath who always gets his way. (Hope you’ll love to hate him as the series continues!)
Arriving at Glenhaven, Juliet meets a strong, vibrant MacLaren family who treat her poorly at first. Ross falls in love and never wavers. Slowly, everyone (except Laird Donnach) comes to accept her.
As the rising begins, Juliet’s life changes drastically, and not for the better.
My childhood in five words?
Tomboy, creative, stubborn, loved, family-oriented
Who was your favorite teacher in grade school and/or high school? When did you first begin writing?
Third grade, Miss Quick, was my favorite teacher. She was young, fun and we wore the same shoes. That was the year I decided to become a teacher.
Writing has always been a part of me. From a childhood diary to short stories, I filled my early years with the written word.
What made you decide to publish your first book? What was your experience like getting it published and sold? What are some struggles you had?
The short version is that I’d always wanted to go out west, see the Grand Canyon, the Red Rocks and end the vacation in Las Vegas. I gave myself that trip when I retired from teaching. My husband and I decided we wanted to see more national parks after we came home. For Christmas he gave me the PBS series on National Parks. While watching the Grand Canyon story, they spoke of the history and how Harvey Girls were placed in his restaurants throughout the west. I began to daydream of a story, a young girl ending up there in a dream or maybe time travel. The next morning, I began to write my first story, Waiting for Dusk, and never stopped.
The journey to publishing my book was harder. I spent two years learning how to write a query, synopsis of my story, a hook and other things agents ask for. I’d come across an article on how agents accept about 5% of these queries and from there usually 1% of the books get published. Very disheartening. After many rejection letters, I almost gave up. Then, I read a story in the newspaper. A girl had self-published and was doing well. I knew I didn’t have the skills to try it on my own, but the article mentioned small press publishers and how they were a growing bunch, especially on the internet. It gave me new hope. This was 2011, and most online publishers were doing only romance. I found Melange Books, who was going to open a young adult imprint. I began to look for more publishers in my genre. I sent off my book to three small press publishers and got offers from two! I choose Melange and am glad I did. They have published my Waiting for Dusk series and The Clan MacLaren series. In recent years, I learned more about the indie world and self-publishing. I dove into it with fear and hesitation but am glad I did. My son, who is quite talented, helps me with formatting and covers. My young adult series, 29, and romantic suspense The Secret Billionaire Society are my indie projects.
How long does it take for you to find a suitable name for your books? Do you think that a book name is less important, more important, or as important as a good book cover?
Some book titles are easy, some are not. Once I wrote a whole book, hoping a title would come to me. It didn’t. I like to have my title before I start writing. I think a good book cover trumps the title. It’s the first thing a reader sees. But the title should be as good as its cover.
When did you first get bitten by the Scotland bug and start writing The Clan MacLaren Books? What research was involved in the writing of these books?
I am a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I like reading historical novels and watching shows, such as Victoria, Poldark (both books and show), and The Crown. I never thought to write a Scottish story until my publisher put out a call for an anthology of Scottish tales. At the time she didn’t receive enough stories, but I had already written one. I couldn’t let the characters go, I felt there was more to tell. So My Highlander Husband went from a short story to a novel.
Research takes time even if one uses the internet. I try to read more than one source for information. Sometimes, what I research turns into only one sentence of text, but I want to be as accurate as possible.
On any normal day, what would you be doing if you weren't writing?
Depends on the season! I love to be outdoors in good weather. I garden, have a small vegetable plot, and just planted a shade garden last year. I love tea and curling up with a book in front of the fireplace when the weather’s cold. We have a very good tearoom in our community, and I love to visit there. Then, there are boring chores that no one wants to hear about.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters inMy Highlander Husband?
Donnach MacLaren – Laird, chief of clan, must make hard decisions, loyal to clan first, doesn’t trust the English, a secret Jacobite
Fiona MacLaren – Mother to Donnach’s five children, strong-willed, loyal to Donnach, ageless beauty
They have 5 children:
Greer MacLaren Kinkaid – Oldest daughter Loyal, fierce, forgiving
Glynis MacLaren – Second daughter Dark-haired beauty, Strong, willful, feminist before her time
Ross MacLaren – First son, born a year after Glynis main romantic lead – strong and loving
Duncan MacLaren – Second son Being the younger son, is not given important tasks but he is the one who’d fight for the land and the people.
Heather MacLaren – youngest of the family Beautiful Outspoken Headstrong Feisty Cannot keep a secret
Juliet Kingston – main romantic lead – Resilient, kind, sweet, loves fiercely
Edward Coward – Juliet’s friend, comes from nobility, tries to do the right thing
John Alder – Juliet’s first love. John will eventually become a duke and has much power. Everything he does and wants comes from that place– Power.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part in My Highlander Husband is when Glynis, who grew up as a tomboy and if she lived now would be a feminist, dressed for battle and wanted to leave with her brothers to fight in the Jacobite Uprising.
What can we expect from you in the future?
My Highlander Husband is now in production to become an audiobook. Eventually the whole series will be available on Audible.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I never thought I’d be a writer, much less publish a book someday. I was a teacher, wife and mother with a busy life.
I liked to write when I was younger but never thought - I’m going to be an author one day. I mostly wrote short stories and kept a journal back in late elementary years, junior high days.
After I retired from teaching, I decided I’d live a quiet life, doing things I wished I could do when I worked. Then I found, there are only many closets you can clean out before you go a little crazy. I think my brain needed something more.
Visiting National Parks had become a recent passion and I wanted to make sure my family visited the Grand Canyon.
When we got home from that vacation, a PBS series about National Parks was going to air and my husband and I decided to watch. For some reason, my mind drifted to another place as the show continued.
I began thinking about the recent park visit, the history I saw on the show and how fun it might be to have a young girl move between the past and present.
I had no intention of writing a novel. So it literally happened overnight. I got up the next day and started to write.