In the rush of flying to RT's Booklovers' Convention, I missed celebrating National Tartan Day on April 6:
National Tartan Day honors and celebrates Scottish culture and the role it has played in the development of the United States. Canada has been celebrating Tartan Day since 1993 and the U.S. Senate officially passed it into law in 1998.
National Tartan Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath on April 6, 1320. Fifty one nobles signed the document, claiming Scotland was an independent country:
For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.
Fast forward four hundred years when, in 1746, the Scottish clans once again proclaimed their independence at the Battle of Culloden. Sadly, the English victory set back Scottish culture for several decades.
These two time periods are prevalent in Scottish historicals - but what happened in between?
Today's guest, Margaret Mallory, helps us bridge this gap in history with her new series, The Return of the Highlanders. Margaret takes us to Tudor times which most historical readers (and Showtime viewers) know from the English perspective.
In Margaret's new series, we travel north of the English border to live this turbulent time from the Scottish perspective:
After learning of the Scots' disastrous loss to Henry VIII's forces, four fearless Highland warriors rush home from France to find their chieftain and king dead, their clan in peril, and rebellion raging.
Each hero would gladly give his life to protect his clan. Asking him to take a wife to serve the clan's interests is another matter altogether....Or so he thinks, until he finds the woman he wants. Then our returning warrior must face his greatest battle yet: winning the heart of a willful Scottish lass.
Enter THE GUARDIAN - the first book in the series.
After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.
As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.
Margaret's fans have eagerly awaited this new series. According to Mary Gramlich, The Reading Reviewer, Margaret delivered! From Mary's review:
This first book in the series is a complete winner and Ms. Mallory proves she knows how to write a winning historical story. Both Ian and Sìleas both have incredible personalities and such depth that you know the romance between them burns long into the night. I personally cannot wait for the next book!
Thanks to Margaret's publisher, Grand Central Publishing, I am giving away a copy of the THE GUARDIAN to three randomly selected commenters. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Margaret Mallory, Tudor Times, and THE GUARDIAN.
2. This giveaway is open to US residents only but I welcome comments from all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, May 8, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 9.
Kim in Hawaii
Scottish history between the Declaration of Arbroath and the Battle of Culloden is complex - but three factors influenced it:
- Power struggle between the Lords and Monarchy. Read Margaret's musings on this subject.
- Political alliances: Scotland, England, France, and Spain changed alliances as the wind changed direction. Yet England's Margaret Tudor married Scotland's James IV, setting into action the seating of a Scottish king on the English throne.
- The Protestant Reformation: It took hold in Scotland and forced the Catholic Queen Mary to abdicate in favor of her infant son, James VI (who became England's James I). It enabled King Henry VIII to divorce his Catholic wife and pursue his own agenda free from Papal approval.
To learn more about Scotland, log onto BBC's website.
|Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders return home ...|
... the tradition lives on.