|Terry Spear in Scotland|
The Highland Clearances with a Werewolf Perspective
By Terry Spear
Yep, you heard right!
When I create a fictional story, I try to base it on truth—in part. After all, everyone knows werewolves don’t really exist. Yet, in my Highland wolf stories, werewolves live for centuries, and as such, they have lived through history. When most of us would read about this in history books, they helped to make the history.
Duncan MacNeill is off to Grand Cayman Island to locate the crook who stole his clan/pack’s fortune. While there, he runs into a she-wolf who proves more than intriguing. Not only is she alone, but she’s wearing the Rampant lion on her shirt—and that means? She’s either got Scottish heritage, is a Scot, too, or she just likes all thing Celtic. And he’s interested.
But what he learns is that she’s from a clan that was driven from their homes during the Highland Clearances. See? I really did mean to talk about them!
And his clan is one that took part in ousting crofters from his own lands.
So you see? Instant attraction and instant trouble.
When we visited Scotland, it was beautiful. Lands free of the clutter of homes, cities, people. Just beautiful. If the Highland Clearances hadn’t been part of Scotland’s history, what do you think it would have looked like now? Tons of people filling every square inch of land? Maybe.
What about those who were driven from their homes? They went to Australia, America, Canada, and elsewhere, learning new trades, starting over, some prospering for themselves when they couldn’t have in Scotland. They would never have left, never ventured elsewhere if they hadn’t been forced to.
Yet it was terrible to be uprooted from their homes, many of the dwellings burned.
Acts of Parliament attempted to do away with all things Highland—the playing of the bagpipe, wearing of the tartan, teaching of the Gaelic, gathering of clan members. Where my MacNeills ended up settling—through the treachery of the captain they had paid to take them to North Carolina—reports said that they lived a more “Highland life” than those left behind in Scotland. They gathered, played bagpipes, wore their tartan, and continued their way of life, at least for as long as they wished with nobody dictating to them about it.
Religion had been another issue in the Highlands during this time. With moves to North America, the clans could continue to enjoy their faith.
Life was hard in the Highlands way before the Highland Clearances began. For some, they found their new lives way better than their past. For some, it was no better. And others, worse.
It was terrible the way people were uprooted from their homes. But many left to join family who had settled Overseas and there, they continued to be family, unlike where they had lived—often family of those who owned the land, who had fought for them, and now were forced to go.
Lands both in Canada and America were given away free to those who could homestead the land the farther west people moved. Conditions could be harsh, but no more so than in the Highlands. Many of our town names and roads around where I live are Scottish names, including the county I live in: McLennan and the city I live near: Crawford. The Scots were hardy and settled even the wildest areas.
Adversity can make us stronger.
Today, many of those whose families were driven from Scotland during the Highland Clearances now gather at Celtic Fests all over North America. And are proud to be descendants of the hardy Highlanders.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been uprooted—either a job or home situation or even family—and the move you’d never planned to make came to be, and you realized it was the best thing that could ever have happened? Not at the time, though. And it might take some years to see the benefits, but have you?
Thanks to Eliza for having me here today! One lucky commenter will have a chance at winning a copy of A Howl for a Highlander, US or Canada addresses only!
A HOWL FOR A HIGHLANDER BY TERRY SPEAR – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2013
A Highland Wolf on a Mission...
Duncan MacNeill is hell-bent on catching the thief who's stolen the clan's fortune and run off to Grand Cayman Island. Duncan has rarely left his homeland and he couldn't care less about an island paradise. He never expected to find a beautiful distraction who will show him just how appealing paradise can be...
Meets a Dangerous Distraction...
Lone wolf and botanist Shelley Campbell headed to the island to study the old growth forests. She didn't count on meeting a handsome Highlander who can't keep his paws off her.
Praise for Terry Spear:
"Intense and swoon-inducing...The chemistry is steamy."—USA Today Happy Ever After
"Fascinating characters and an exciting, action packed plot."—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
"Intriguing...The queen of werewolf drama Terry Spear provides a powerful take of love and war."—Midwest Book Review
"Highlanders and werewolves. Be still my heart!"—The Good, the Bad, and the Unread
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written a couple of dozen paranormal romance novels and two medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance and continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear .
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