In my newest series, the MacDougall Legacy, we follow a family through the generations, starting in 1207. Every hero takes his place as Laird MacDougall of Dunstaffnage Castle. Legends abound within the series, many with a mystical element. The history of Scotland is seeped in mysticism, and so most of the elements I’ve added into this series are based on historical fact or legend.
I love a good ghost story, and in my travels to Europe, I’ve often felt the otherworldly presence of those who lived in the past. One of my favorite castles in Scotland is Dunstaffnage Castle, and I was lucky enough to visit there on my last trip! The history behind it is fascinating and haunting. There is this tale of a glaistig, or green lady, who haunts the grounds of Dunstaffnage. She is called the Ell-Maid of Dunstaffnage, but no one knows who she might have been. She appears in green, gliding over the walls, and through the forest. Her appearances often were brought on by tidings of joy or sadness within the family. This gave me an idea—in fact, it sparked the whole series! In Laird of Shadows, we learn the origin of the Ell-Maid of Dunstaffnage… It was exciting to write this story, and I can’t wait for you all to read it, and to see what happens as I follow the MacDougall family throughout generations in my new series!
Here are a few pictures I took at Dunstaffnage Castle.
|Me being silly :)|
|The castle through the forest.|
|A model of the castle.|
|The castle's main door.|
|The entry corridor from the main door.|
|Inside the bailey.|
|Standing on the ramparts looking down. This section here would have had a roof like you saw in the model.|
|On the ramparts looking out on the water.|
|Inside a tower, looking out.|
|More of the inside, and the well.|
|Inside a tower, the floors are no longer there, but you can see the shelves and hearths from upper floors.|
|More inside, showing stonework on multiple floors.|
|An arrow-slit window.|
|Crumbled stairs inside one of the towers.|
|Inside the bailey looking up at the tower walls. The stonework is amazing.|
|A forest trail to the castle kirk.|
|The castle kirk.|
|A cross on the side of the kirk.|
|More of the forest surrounding the castle.|
Beiste MacDougall has only just found himself as laird of his clan after a brutal attack from Vikings leaves his father slain. On the night of his sire’s death, a beautiful woman comes to his castle begging for help, calling upon a vow their clans had made years before. Though he’d rather wallow in his pain, Beiste is tempted by the lass, the secrets she holds, and the chance at retribution she brings.
Lady Elle Cam’béal is desperate to save her brother and her clan from the vile clutches of her Viking enemies. But there is only one man who can help her, a handsome, provocative laird with a beastly temper. When he locks her in a chamber, she is visited by an apparition, and left with a secret that changes her destiny. Elle must figure out a way to accept her fate, but also forge a future of her own choosing.
As battles and treachery rain down upon them, Beiste and Elle find unlikely allies in each other, and a few stolen moments of passion that bring light from the shadows…
The second book in my series, Laird of Twilight, will release in The Forbidden Highlands, April 18th! Available for Pre-Order!