Loyalty and honor. A Highland warrior prizes both more than life, and when he swears his oath on the dirk, he must obey or die. Duncan Cameron heeds his chief's order without question, but discovers his wife-to-be is no fair maiden. Although women are no longer trained in the art of fighting, Rory MacGregor follows in the footsteps of her Celtic ancestors. Secrets from the past and superstitious folk endanger Rory and Duncan as much as Bonnie Prince Charlie and his uprising to win back the British throne for his father. Rory and Duncan must make difficult choices that pit honor and duty against trust and love...
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Amber Quill Press, LLC
September 19, 2010
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Scottish Thistle by Cindy Vallar
...Earlier, Thistle had blessed the torrential rain. Now, the smuggler cursed it. A lightning bolt slashed the ink-black sky. The shadows of the night blurred, and Thistle shuddered. The premonition descended with the finality of a coffin lid being nailed shut.
Thistle stood at the left hand of a dark-haired man. Swirls of mist curled around their feet and shadowy forms rose up between them, separating Thistle from the stranger. A flash of steel pierced the darkness. The white mist turned bright red, then faded to nothingness.
The smuggler's eyes flew open! Thistle strained to hear, but thunder and wind obliterated other sounds. Lightning flashed; in the instant it illuminated mountain and glen, Thistle glimpsed a lone rider spurring his mount along the rough Highland track bordered by tall firs. He stiffened and toppled from his horse. Two caterans crept from the trees. While one searched their unconscious victim, the other rifled his satchel.
As the smuggler's four companions surrounded the caterans, Thistle stepped onto a wind-smoothed boulder. With an arrow nocked taut against the string of the black longbow, Thistle aimed the lethal missile at one cateran's heart and waited.
A flash of white light followed by a jarring thunderclap startled the thief. He raised his head and screamed. His companion dropped the pilfered booty. He fell to his knees and crossed himself. "Please, Thistle, spare us! We meant no harm."
The smuggler smelled their fear and snickered beneath the mask. "Are ye saying the man sprawled in the mud is after taking a wee nap during such a fierce storm?"
They cried out, each trying to shout down the other.
"We found him here!"
"He is dead!"
The rider moaned.
"Dead, ye say? Then he comes back to haunt ye." Thistle stepped closer and spoke words laced with menace. "Truis! Be gone! If ever I find ye in these bens again, I willna be so forgiving."
The caterans scrambled over each other in their haste to escape. Thistle waited until the darkness swallowed them before jumping from the boulder to kneel beside the stranger. The short wooden hilt of a sgian protruded from the man's upper back. Thistle extracted the knife, then bandaged the wound with a piece of black cloth ripped from the smuggler's own shirt.
The stranger moaned. Easing him onto his back, Thistle braced the stranger's head and shoulder against a thigh. The man's eyes fluttered open.
"Can ye ride?" Thistle asked.
The rider nodded.
Thistle gave him over to the other smugglers and went to collect the stranger's stallion. When Thistle reached for its reins, the horse flared its nostrils and snorted. Its hooves clattered on stones. Thistle grabbed its halter, stroked its neck, and whispered soothing words in Gaelic. The stallion whinnied, ceased its clawing of the earth, and grew calm. After the others helped the rider remount, Thistle swung up behind him. The two men who took the van wove their way through the rocks and into the woods. Thistle followed while the remaining pair brought up the rear.
Fallen pine needles muffled their footfalls. Firs towered over them, providing some respite from the rain. They climbed the mountain in a zigzag fashion. When they reached the northern edge of the pine canopy, Thistle nudged the stallion onto a rough dirt track along a bluff of jagged cliffs. Immense sea waves crashed against the rocks below, forcing white spume high into the air. The crescendo rivaled the beating of a thousand war drums, while the roiling tempest matched the frenzied turmoil that churned within Thistle...