Isle of Mull
My father sat in his usual chair in front of the crackling fire, staring at the flame with dim eyes and a fur robe wrapped around his broad shoulders, the deerhound curled at his feet.
“Where are you going, Aine?” he asked with his back turned toward the stone, spiral staircase where I stood. “Come, sit with me for awhile.”
I pushed the arisaid from my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor, then stepped over the wrap. Making my way to the stool where my mother’s embroidery frame stood, I took a seat and watched the flame.
Without turning his head, my father, Lachlan Og MacLean, eighth chief and fourth Laird of Durant Castle, asked, “Where are you going?”
“How did you ken ’twas I?” He never ceased to amaze me with his uncanny knowledge of events around him although his eyes, so dimmed by injury, saw very little.
“I heard the rustle of your skirts.” He extended his hand for me, so I rose and hugged his neck.
He smiled, embracing my arms. “And I ken your scent, lass. ‘Tis so like your mither’s. You use the same scented soap as she.”
“Aye, but from so far away and with the smell of burning wood and dog in your nostril’s?”
“Your odor is a different pleasantry among the usual burning wood and dog. It stands out in my memory as does the pleasant odor of your mither.” He smiled broadly, showing still straight, white teeth beneath a greying beard. I could almost feel his penetrating gaze upon me as in the days before his sight was taken in battle. He asked, “Where are you going this dreary night?”
“Here, Da. To sit beside you and talk of the feast on the morrow.”
“Don’t try to deceive me, lass. I heard the sound of your arisaid dropping to the floor. You are planning a tryst, I feel certain.” His dimmed gaze pierced through to the depths of my soul. “I could see the turn of your head toward him each time he spoke at the evening meal.” A line formed between his brows and a shadow darkened his face. “You are to marry the Munro.”
“I dinna love William Munro.” My voice began to rise, and I struggled to control the cry climbing from the depths of my heart. “I wanna marry him, Da. You promised I could wed for love, not convenience.” The cry emerged from my lips. I buried my head on his shoulder and sobbed.
Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?
A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. It tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro, and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.
The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.
Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.
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Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident?
Could love soften her heart so that she is able to see her answered prayers in Naomi Yoder or will she drive a wedge between her father and the only woman he has shown interest in since Elisabeth Fisher’s death?
Leah Fisher lost her mother ten years ago. She is rapidly approaching womanhood and the lack is becoming more difficult every day.
Will she be able to recognize love when it’s right in front of her?
Could love be the key to Leah opening her heart, making room for the woman her father intends to marry… or will she stubbornly cling to the memory of her own mother?
Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time?
Rachel L Miller writes sweet Amish romance with a focus on faith, family and friendship.
She feels very strongly that God has led her to live a simpler lifestyle ñ thus her deep kinship with the plain people. She enjoys spending time with her family and doing fun, simple things like swimming, making sun tea, sitting outside watching the sunrise or listening to rain fall on the tin roof.
Rachel enjoys writing Amish fiction and hopes that the purity of her stories will allow God’s message to shine through more clearly.†She also writes Contemporary Inspirational Romance – and with all of her stories she focuses on presenting romance the way God intended it to be.
Readers can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website: rlmauthor.com
Engaged is now available!
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Prayer. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Prayer is our means of communication with God and God’s given requirement to watch him work. We read stories of men and women of prayer who pray(ed) 2 hours a day and feel like the disciples who couldn’t spend an hour in prayer with Jesus in the garden.
All my life I’ve felt like such a stumbling fool when it comes to prayer. I struggle to fill a single page in mu prayer journal. And I use a prayer journal because it forces me to focus, unlike closing my eyes to daydream—or fall asleep.
I offer all this background so you understand why this—thing—has me shocked, surprised, delighted.
God is answering my prayers. When asked. As asked. In very demonstrable ways.
I started to notice it a few months ago. I prayed that my granddaughter would either leave her live-in boyfriend—or get married. She moved out. (and back in—but she did move out!)
At our weekly Bible study, our leader asked us to requested that we pray for his voice and his health. We prayed that because God had given him the lesson to share, that He would give him the strength to finish the lesson. And he did.
Later, a phlebotomist showed up for a blood draw. I selfishly prayed it would go easily. At a recent hospital visit, they had needed three-plus attempts every time they drew blood or put in an IV.
I didn’t even feel the needle go in.
A week ago, my vision was so blurry, I couldn’t see the music to play hymns at Bible study. I asked for prayer—vision restored.
Of course I’ve always known God answered prayer. And I haven’t had any significant “deposits” in the prayer bank. But I have never ever experienced this kind of clear, immediate answer. This feeling of—power?—had given me wings, a freedom to pray and actively expect an answer.
When I first starting writing devotionals, I found prayers the most difficult element to
write. But recently, I completed 48 prayers to accompany the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR 2/1/18). Here’s the first one:
Lord God, the story of prayer might be the story of great achievements, but my personal journey reads more like a survival tale, lurching from one day’s emergency to the next. Not everyone can be like Esther, who fasted, prayed, and wrested victory for her people from the hands of her enemy. I’m more like Hannah, who asked You for a son, and the Phoenician woman who beseeched Jesus to heal her child. I may not be like Lydia who offered her house as a place of worship, but I have often wept before You, like the woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears. As I rehearse Your gracious response to my prayers, open my eyes to the grandeur of Your achievements in my life. Amen.
I guess I absorbed the lessons as I wrote them! Praise God for a very welcome transformation.
Bio: Darlene has been preparing to write devotionals all her life. She enjoyed the teaching of verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible three times a week in addition to her own private study all the way through school. At Northeastern Bible College, she majored in Bible and theology, and then attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Religious Education. When she began writing after her divorce, she started with a devotional project focused in about the lessons God had taught her, and her first ever published piece was a devotional in The Secret Place. Since then, Darlene has published over 300 devotionals in various publications as well as three stand-alone titles with Winged Publications.
Book blurb about 12 Months to Better Prayer:
Learn the art of prayer from the hearts of giants of the faith.
Prayer is simply talking with God—yet even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Since then, godly men and women of the faith have given us guidance to a deeper prayer life—and their most insightful comments are included in A 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women.
Featuring the words of giants of the faith such as Andrew Murray, E. M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, and Hannah Whitall Smith, it’s arranged into 12 key topics.
Ideal for use on a year-long prayer journey, this book also includes prayer starters that will set you on a course of deeper, more personal times of conversations with God.
Book blurb about my fiftieth book, Mermaid’s Song:
At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!
Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.
Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.
Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.
Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.
How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?
Wife. Mom. Author. Reader. Blogger. Amateur nature photographer. Chocolate eater. Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
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