Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Haunting Scenes from Scotland Past by Lori Ann Bailey

While doing research for Highland Redemption, I stumbled upon a piece of information that stuck with me, so much so that I felt I had to put it in my book. The cruelty of the instance became part of the motivation for my heroine, Skye, to do her part in protecting her family, even if that meant marrying someone she didn’t know.

Some of you may have heard that the “Red Wedding” from “Game of Thrones” was inspired by true events, the brutal slayings of the MacDonalds by Campbell men in the Massacre of Glencoe. 

Campbell forces had been accepted as guests and given hospitality for several days before turning on their hosts, killing thirty-eight MacDonalds in their sleep and leaving another forty women and children to die from exposure after burning their homes.

This is an example of brutality that has tarnished the reputation of the Campbells. Even to this day, there is a bar, Clachaig Inn, in the Highlands that has a sign above the door stating that it will not serve Campbells.


But this wasn’t the tale of carnage that made it into Highland Redemption because it takes place after my story, it’s just the infamous one. The massacre I speak of happened fifty years earlier and although just as gruesome, it is hard to find the truth of what happened in August of 1642.

On Rathlin Island, Ireland, Covenanter Campbell soldiers were given orders to kill the local Catholic MacDonalds because they were relatives of the Scottish MacDonalds, who were seen as enemies by clan Campbell. According to what I’ve read, women and children were forced to watch the slaying of their men, then as they retreated to safety, the Campbells showed no mercy. It is said that anywhere between one hundred and three thousand women and children were driven from cliffs of what is now known as the Hill of Screaming.

From Highland Redemption - Skye’s thoughts, just after she meets her newly betrothed:

Now, she was resigned to a marriage built on a foundation of Royalist unity and the blood of her kin, who were massacred by Covenanter soldiers at the orders of Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck. Alliances with other Royalist clans were becoming more important as tensions rose between those who were loyal to King Charles, and the men, like the Duke of Argyll, who supported the Presbyterian Covenants as the sole religion of Scotland.
Often, she awakened, covered in sweat, when her dreams took her to the horrors she’d heard tales of—hundreds of Catholic MacDonald women of Rathlin Island begging for their lives, and the piercing screams that must have spilled from their lips as the Covenanter soldiers of Argyll’s Foot pushed them over the cliffs to the rocks and surf below.
If she could save others by forming an alliance with another clan, so be it. Despite living with the Cameron clan as a child, she owed her uncle, the MacDonald laird, and their people a debt because they had taken her in and given her a new life. At least her uncle had given her a choice of men.

While spying for Clan Cameron, Brodie Cameron rescues a lass, only to realize it’s Skye—the woman who’d broken his heart. He needs to get her to her uncle as quickly as possible to keep her safe, but every minute he’s distracted from his mission brings the clans that much closer to war. And having beautiful Skye anywhere near him is dangerous, because the price on his head is higher than the one on hers.

Upon being rescued from kidnappers, Skye finds herself staring into the eyes of the man she once loved—Brodie Cameron. She’s grateful to be freed, but has no idea how she’ll resist the lad who has become a braw man. Especially because she’s promised to another, in a political marriage forged to strengthen the Royalist clans against the Covenanters who plot to turn Scotland upside down.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2As7N16
B&N https://goo.gl/YPGTzS
Kobo https://goo.gl/9c3pWb
ibooks https://goo.gl/a6fF7w
Amazon Canada https://goo.gl/U2NAi9
Amazon UK https://goo.gl/mb9Et1

Winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award and Holt Medallion for Best First Book and Best Historical, Lori Ann Bailey writes hunky highland heroes and strong-willed independent lasses finding their perfect matches in the Highlands of 17th century Scotland. Writing about the people and places playing in her head helps her live out her dreams and delve into her love of history and romance. When not writing, Lori enjoys time with her real life hero and four kids or spending time walking or drinking wine with her friends.

Visit Lori at www.loriannbailey.com. Or, follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lori.Ann.Bailey.author

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