Monday, May 2, 2011

Aloha to Margaret Mallory and THE GUARDIAN

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. 

Arbroath Castle

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.

Castle Tioram

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.


  1. Great post Kim,
    I've always enjoy your post. learn so much about history and things of another country :)

    and i believe i haven't read any books from Margaret !

  2. The Guardian sounds good. I enjoy Margaret's books.

  3. Thank you Kim for the brief history lesson. I can always count on you to provide us with very interesting information. In addition to wonderful reads!

    I was glued to the television (rare for me) when The Tudors was running on Showtime. It's one period of time I have always been interested in.

    I guess we have something in common with Scotland: Freedom from English domination. I'm looking forward to this series.

  4. I have never read Margaret's books but you definitely have my attention thank you Kim!

    I Guardian sounds excellent and I am off to start my search for one immediately.

    Thank you for visiting Margaret and thank you Kim for another stunning post.


  5. The Guardian sounds good. I love stories where the hero has neglected an unwanted wife, until he falls in love with her. It usually involves him having to work hard to get the heroine to give him another chance.
    I love all the pictures that you included in the interview, along with the history.

  6. I'm a fan of Margaret and love her books. It was a dark time in Scotland's history.


  7. I've read at least 2 of her books and they were really good. I would love to read this one as well. But right now I just want to keep staring at the cover of The Guardian. lol That's a really nice cover..yep.

    I love the history of Scotland and the castles. I know if I was to ever do any would be to Scotland.

    miztik_rose AT

  8. Wow Kim! Thanks for some great historical tidbits. I love coming to your blog and learning something new every day. (and they say that learning is only for classrooms)
    Margaret is a new-to-me author.My first romance book featured a highlander. It's been a while since I've stepped out of Regency England. Perhaps THE GUARDIAN will help me do so. And as for the Tudor times, if all the men looked like JRM or Henry Cavill, I would've paid more attention in class. :)

  9. I absolutely love anything concerning Highlanders and Scotland. Such a beautiful country and yet it reeks of sadness. I tear up every time I read about Culloden. I love History as well. I'm dying to read The Guardian and can't wait. Loved Margaret's Knight's books.
    Carol L

  10. Thanks, Kim, for the post about my new book!
    For you Tudor lovers, I have Margaret Tudor, who was Henry VIII's sister and queen of Scotland, in this book. She's recently widowed, pregnant, and carrying on with that handsome, ambitious Douglas chieftain...


  11. I too have enjoyed Margaret's books and I've always loved anything Scottish (even before seeing Braveheart lol). I've learned and enjoyed more true history from blogs like this than most history books!

  12. The Guardian sounds like it will be an absolutely amazing book!! (I can't believe I hadn't heard about it before!)

  13. I love reading historical fiction and this looks like a fabulous read. I have not read any Margaret Mallery books so I'm thrilled that this is the start of a new series so that I can start at the beginning. I loved watching the Tudors on Showtime- found it highly entertaining, if not completely accurate.

    Thanks for the contest!


  14. Wow, this book looks amazing and I love learning about the history of Scotland! Thanks for the great post today and thanks for sharing with us.

  15. I read Mary's review of The Guardian---I have to have it!

  16. Thanks, Mary, for the lovely review! I hope other readers enjoy it as much. :)

  17. I am so looking forward to reading this book.
    Margaret Is an wonderful writer.
    Happy Tartan Day to you too.

  18. Thank you for the brief history lesson; it was enlightening and enjoyable. I will definitely have to pick up Margaret's book.

  19. I am traveling to Scotland and Ireland this summer. I can't wait.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  20. Thanks for the post, Kim! I loved how you highlighted the Scottish history that acts as the backdrop to The Guardian. After reading a few reviews on the book, I knew I wanted to read it as I love highlander stories, but those posts mainly focused on the hero and heroine's story. So adding the historical perspective to it makes the book that much more intriguing!

  21. The Guardian sounds like a fantastic book! I can't wait to read it!

  22. Hi Margaret!
    I’m a huge fan and bought your prior 3 books and shared them with my daughters who are also big fans now. For me the best historical fiction novels have a very strong female - and their Alpha males love them anyway - some humor and a good story line. You've got it all. Keep writing!

  23. I learn so much from this blog. I didn't know we had a Tartan Day. I'm looking forward to reading all about Ian and Sileas in The Guardian. I enjoy Margaret's novels. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  24. I'm loving these comments! As you know, LilMissMolly, I ONLY write strong females. ;)

  25. Hi, Margaret! I cannot WAIT to read The Guardian! Highlanders.... Oh, yes. Highlanders are very, very much of the good :-)

  26. Congrats on the release. The book & series both sound interesting. It's nice to see books out in a different period & with a slightly different view point than the norm (highlander stories are always welcome) :)

  27. loved her previous series ALL THE KINGS MEN...can not wait for this one