The History Behind The White Princess

You guys were so into my last post about The White Queen (which you can read HERE) that I thought it was time to do The White Princess! If you haven’t read the books, or know a lot about the history, this might “spoil” the show. Enjoy!

Margaret Beaufort

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Margaret was the only child of the Duke of Somerset and upon his death, she inherited his fortune. But King Henry VI gave some of her lands to the Duke of Suffolk, whose son later married Margaret and became husband #1. But since she was still a toddler at this time and the pair were too closely related, the marriage wasn’t recognized. Still a wealthy lady, Henry VI called dibs on her and gave her to his half brother Edmund Tudor.

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Their marriage was a short one and Edmund died of the plague after being taken captives by the York forces, leaving her a widowed and pregnant 13-year-old. Taking shelter with her brother-in-law Jasper Tudor, she gave birth to Henry VII, the only child she would ever have. But the pair didn’t have much time together, as he was sent to live in exile for his safety and they could only communicate through letters.

Husband #3 came along, Henry Stafford, and the got along well enough and had a happy marriage. Until he also died when she was 28. Not a good track record for Margaret, who married Thomas Stanly as husband #4 after that. They married strictly to benefit both, as Thomas had political power and Margaret had wealth. They largely lived apart and she even took a vow of chastity, but the arrangement worked well for them. Together, they helped to put Henry VII on the throne.

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She was completely devoted to her son and was basically the royal version of a monster-in-law. She would wear dresses that basically matched Elizabeth’s and tried taking over all the usual tasks that would be given to the queen, like the naming of children and other duties. She was like Regina George’s mom in Mean Girls, only super pious and sour.

Henry Tudor

Henry was the last English monarch that won his throne through battle, taking the crown when his forces defeated Richard III. By marrying Elizabeth of York, he was able to solidify his right to the throne, as he assumed was his all along due to his mother’s constant pushing. In fact, his ties to the crown were distant, being related to King Edward III through the child of a mistress. Still, it was enough to get him an army.

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Once he married Elizabeth, he began a peaceful reign with any real threat to his crown. Together, they had eight children, with two daughters and two sons surviving childhood. From him came King Henry VIII and his infamous wives. But Henry VIII didn’t learn much from his father, who was notably faithful to Elizabeth throughout their marriage. When she died in childbirth, he was so saddened, he never brought himself to remarry, although he only had three living children left at that point and was still young enough to beget more heirs.

Elizabeth of York

This blonde beauty was the daughter, sister, niece, mother, and grandmother of kings. But it was a rocky road. After her father’s death and her brother’s confinement to the Tower of London, she was welcomed out of sanctuary and back to the court of the new King Richard III, her uncle. While this is under historical debate, it is possible that she and her uncle were having an affair while his sickly wife Anne Neville lay upon her death bed. It was true that the pair were often seen together, but there is no definite proof they were in a relationship, or that they planned to wed when Anne died. But it’s not like the pair would carry on their romance in public if it were true.

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By the time Henry Tudor defeated Richard to take the crown, it was accepted that he would marry Elizabeth. As the eldest York daughter, and the woman who could have been queen in her own right had she been born in a different time, their union would solidify his claim to the throne. So he had her parent’s marriage legitimized again and went to join the Yorks and the Tudors. But Henry wasn’t one to share power, so he had himself crowned king before he even married Elizabeth and didn’t have her crowned queen until after she had birthed a son.

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But the marriage may not have been completely loveless as many have thought. Henry was notoriously faithful to his wife, not even remarrying after her death at the age of 37 when he could have easily snatched up a fertile princess. He was even said to mourn her terribly. Far cry from the marriage seen so far in The White Princess, but it’s not like Elizabeth could have divorced him or flat out refused to marry him, so we’ll never know for sure went on behind closed doors.

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The Curse

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In The White Queen we saw Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter Elizabeth of York summoning the power of Melusina to curse the killer of lil’Edward and lil’ Richard. They said that whoever killed the boys would lose their own son young and their grandson as well and have their line end. As fun as that is, it’s a story created by Philipa Gregory to further history, as it’s a fun twist in her series that Henry VII lost both his first son (Arthur) and his first grandson (Edward).

It’s accepted that Richard III didn’t actually kill his nephews lil’Edward and lil’Richard in the tower, as by the time they disappeared, he was already on the throne. Besides, his own sickly son had died and having his nephews as heirs would have benefited him. So Richard get’s a historical pass in my book!

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You know who would have benefited from lil’Edward and lil’Richard’s deaths? Henry VII. Those boys had the greatest claim to the throne over him and if they had been alive and accessible, the Yorks may have rose again. It’s also true that he would have never legitimized Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV’s marriage if there was the slightest chance that the boys were alive and could come to claim what was rightfully theirs.

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There’s no saying how much/if we’ll see anything about Henry and Elizabeth’s kids, but let’s chat about them anyway…

King Henry VIII

This English monarch was the only surviving son of Henry VII and Elizabeth. Mostly known for his many marriages, he always craved sons. This may be partly due to his mother and grandmother being so fertile and maternal and the fact that the only sure way to hold the throne was to have a male heir. But, he was never lucky in love and fathered numerous children with wives and mistresses, only getting one legitimate son before dying gross and fat.

Katherine of Aragon

The young Spanish princess first came to England to be the bride of Henry’s older brother Arthur. But Arthur was weak and sickly and died soon after they wed. Since England still needed an alliance with Spain, the declared that Katherine and Arthur never did the dirty so she was allowed to marry Henry. At first, it seemed super awesome, but as Katherine continuously miscarried, with only one daughter surviving, Henry got antsy for a boy child. So, he did what any sane monarch would do…dump his wife of 20 years into a nunnery for his latest and most cunning mistress…

Anne Boleyn

Anne promised Henry the son he always wanted and he was all about that business. So the moment he had his new religion created, his marriage decreed invalid, and there was an opening in his busy schedule, he wifed her up. But, again, there were miscarriages and only one living daughter. Now, Henry felt pretty dumb. He ousted a beloved queen, married a mistress whose family was slowly taking over court, and still didn’t have a son. Apparently the only way to fix that was to accuse Anne of witchcraft and incest before chopping off her head.

Jane Seymour

Jane was Henry’s favorite wife. She was meek, obedient, turned the other cheek when Henry got a new mistress and finally gave him a son. But, she soon died of complications after childbirth and Henry was seriously torn up. She was the perfect wife and he honored her the only ways he knew how. He gave her a queen’s funeral, had family portraits painted throughout his life with her tucked in, and was later buried beside her, still his favorite long into his old age.

Anne of Cleves

This royal from modern-day Germany was the luckiest of the bunch, and you’ll see why. So, Henry needed a wife and Anne was rustled up from the list to be wife #4. Well, the moment Henry saw her, he declared her super ugly and swiftly had their marriage annulled, citing that she was so disgusting, the marriage couldn’t be consummated. But Henry then gave her an allowance, called her his sister, and the two generally enjoyed each other’s company in a platonic way for the rest of his life. Anne was even the last living wife, outliving everyone else.

Catherine Howard

This teenage bride lasted for 3 whole months. She first caught Henry’s eye as a lady in waiting to Anne of Cleves and the pair were almost immediately married once Anne was out of the picture. Catherine was young, impulsive, and really not a match for the sickly, portly, old king. Might be why she is said to have begun an affair with someone her old age…and why she was beheaded.

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The final wife was probably a more appropriate choice for Henry. She was older, had already been married twice, and was no longer going to have children. She fit the kind, caring queen well and made for a nice enough helpmate to Henry in his final years. She even helped him reconcile with his daughters. And when he died, she went on to marry again, lucky to have dodged the bullet that took so many of Henry’s other queens.

That’s it for today, but if you’d like some more history fun, check out our Outlander page HERE!

And if you like my writing, I have two books out now. The first is a steamy contemporary romance titled The Non-Disclosure Agreement, which you can get HERE. But if historical romance is more your thing, my Scottish romance, Queen of Emeralds, is on sale HERE for 99cents this weekend!

Their Confession

It’s finally here! The third and final installment of Sophia Valentine’s Black Door Trilogy, Their Confession. I’ve read and reviewed the first two, His Confession and Her Confession, and really enjoyed both. So grab all three on Amazon if you’re into spicy spring reads.

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Heat Level:♥♥♥♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Erotic Romance

Gabrielle and Darion have been through a lot, but it seems that Darion has truly decided to be a one woman man. He’s left behind his scandalous life at the club in favor for something more mainstream with Gabrielle. In fact, he ditches it all together just to be the man he thinks she wants and deserves. But she fears that the easy life won’t be enough to keep him satisfied in the long run.

Still, the pair work together to keep the spark alive, which seems to be no problem for the two of them! They can barely keep their eyes, and hands, off each other. Still, the insecurities Gabrielle feels seem to never let her rest. Darion’s inability to be completely emotionally available, thanks to his ex-wife, doesn’t help things either. And when Gabrielel finally learns Darion’s biggest secret yet, will it be too much for her to take?

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Ugh, I love a good trilogy and Valentine did not disappoint. There was steamy sex, passionate love, and the heartbreak of insecurity that felt very real. I think it’s great when characters are allowed to be fully fleshed out over time so you can feel more of their emotions when you real.

Much like when I finish any series, I’m a little sad that it’s done. The red carpets of the club have been rolled up for me and I’m no longer on Darion’s list! But if you didn’t have the change to read The Black Door Trilogy, you can be a VIP now and experience all the forbidden has to offer.

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Above the Flames

There is a battle brewing and it is likely to take you off guard. However, there is a plus side…book 2 is out! Above the Flames is book 1 and book 2 is Surrounded by Flames. Both are by Cassandra Fear and Surrounded By Flames is out today, so get ready to get your binge on!

Jasmine Reynolds has this ability to conjure blue flames that she discovers on her 16th birthday. But who cares? She continues to live her life as normal until she turns 18, when all chaos breaks loose after an earthquake releases the demons. Yes, I said demons. As it turns out, that battle I mentioned earlier is between demons and angels. Well, she was not prepared for this and she is captured.

But don’t fear! There is someone out to save her. Well, okay, he isn’t necessarily out to save her. Amon wants to get back into God’s good graces, as he is a fallen angel. What better way than to rescue the beautiful girl with the power to make all the difference?

As you may have guessed, Amon is gorgeous and Jasmine noticed. Hell, everyone has noticed. But they can’t run off and make eyes at each other because they’re still in the middle of a war. So, do they have the power to take a stand, or will they succumb to, not only their emotions, but also to their circumstances? Sometimes, you’ve fallen too far to come back.

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One of the things that I liked about this book was it seemed real. Okay, Sarah have you lost your mind? How can the book be real? Stay with me here. The characters had the angst and attitude of characters of their ages. Jasmine was 18. She was filled with frustration, and had a vulnerability about her that sometimes shifted to the confidence of a woman with the sexuality of a lady. I love this age group because  I think watching them come into their own is one of my favorite parts of these books. Well, that and Jasmine was feisty and hysterical. I loved reading her.

This is a great book, but fyi, there is a good amount of violence. This book is about a war, so the violence should be assumed, but I’m just putting that out there in case you missed it. It’s an older young adult novel, but I thought it was enjoyable anyway.

With book 2 coming out tomorrow, I am so excited. Don’t bother me! I will be in a reading nook with my kindle and a nervous tickle in my stomach because I can’t wait to see what happens!

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Be sure to check out First Semester. It is my college Romance and it’s available now on Amazon. Click Here

The Bowie Bride

It’s never been a secret that I love Suzan Tisdale and all her books. She’s just a lovely person and so nice to talk to on Twitter. Seriously, she’s awesome. If you recall, she even allowed us to interview her, which you can read HERE. Anyway, I applied to be on her review team and was accepted! Be still my beating heart. And the book in question? Book two of the The Mackintoshes and MacLarens series, The Bowie Bride. I’ve read the first book, Ian’s Rose, but on my own time and I highly recommend it. Now, let’s delve into the latest in Scottish Romance…

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Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

We begin our tale with a grieved Alec Bowie, his evil older brother being killed by Ian Mackintosh. Now Alec is chief of clan with a bad reputation and in need of a bride to keep the peace with his friend Ian’s clan. While the ideal of being wed sickens him, he’s the only one than can keep his clan together. But no woman is too keen on becoming a Bowie…except Leona Mackdowall.

Leona isn’t known for her ravishing beauty, as he has one olive green eye and one an ice blue, and some think she’s a witch. But Alec knows and likes her well enough to make her a passable bride. She’s a loyal woman and promises to not tether him to home and hearth, making her the best prospect Alec has. But Leona isn’t entering into this marriage out of love either, but to escape her brute of a husband. And when Alec promises her a home, children, to never flaunt his mistresses, and to never beat her, she’s ready to walk down the aisle.

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It’s a good enough match, as both parties know exactly what the other requires, but Leona is mistrusting after a lifetime of ill-treatment and Alec doesn’t always have the finesse needed to put her at ease. However, they make a fine pair and learn each others ways easily enough and appear to have a good future ahead of them, especially when what starts out as a contract begins to turn to love. Except there are some mysterious accidents that seem to follow Leona. It might be that someone wants the Bowie bride gone…for good.

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The first thing I adored about this book is the continuation of Ian and Rose’s story from book one. Yes, this novel was basically still about Alec and Leona, but It was nice seeing Ian and Rose again and to get a peek into how their married life was progressing. And they also added to the story, not took away from it or absorbed all the attention as in some other books. It was almost as if Ian and Rose were passing the gauntlet to Alec and Leona.

Another thing I liked was the evolution of the characters from odd, contractual understanding to love. Without giving too much away, their relationship was sometimes steamy, always sweet, and forever honest. It made them very relatable because of their imperfections, but you were still completely capable of swooning when you imagined some of the fine Scottish brogue in this book.

I highly recommend this novel, and the entire series, to all historical romance lovers, particularly ones who can appreciate a man in a kilt and the old clan ways we love. So read book one, if you’re a bit behind, then grab a copy of The Bowie Bride, the perfect summer read.

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It’s Not Four Years, But For Life

Sarah and Kelsey have known each other for years now, but they aren’t just friends and blog partners, they’re sisters. Not sisters by blood, or marriage, or adoption…but sisters by bond. Sisters by Sorority.

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Kelsey was already a sorority sister when she transferred to Stockton University, where they had a chapter of her sorority. In her first event, she met Sarah, who was the Vice President, thus in charge of New Member Education. Although Kelsey wasn’t technically a new member, sticking close to the VP was a good way to learn the traditions, chants, and sisters of the chapter.

They bonded over leopard print, glitter, and a fondness for Broadway. In fact, Kelsey even joined Sarah’s family line, making them “Gs”. Sarah is the GBig while Kelsey is the GLittle, with another sister sandwiched between. Soon, Sarah needed to graduate and begin her adult life back in Maryland. But that didn’t end their friendship.

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They stayed close through Sarah getting engaged to, her now husband, Josh. They texted, emailed, and sent silly pictures. And even when Kelsey went through a difficult pregnancy, Sarah stuck close, helping, loving, and listening. They danced together at Sarah’s wedding and still exchange Christmas cards, along with daily phone calls. Sarah even makes several long trips from Maryland to Kelsey’s home in New Jersey, where she basically has her own bedroom!

 

And when it was Kelsey’s turn to wed, Sarah was by her side, playing both maid of honor and photography assistant, because no sister lets another take bad pictures on their wedding day.

When Sarah went through surgery last year, she wanted to work on some projects she had been thinking about for some time. She wanted to write a book. Well, it turned out that so did Kelsey. They became writing buddies, editing each others work, helping to pen letters to publishing houses, and supporting each other in this new world neither knew much about. They were even accepted by the same publishing house, Limitless Publishing.

As they began working with editors and cover design teams to put their first books into print, they decided to start a blog, the one you’re reading. They review books, products, and talk about your favorite shows and movies. They’ve become partners on so many levels, and wouldn’t have it any way.

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But it isn’t easy. They live about three hours apart and with a three year old, it’s tough for Kelsey to make the trip. With Sarah’s full time job, it’s hard for her to find the time. But they make it. Why? Because that’s what you do for sisters. When Sarah’s heart surgery meant she might not wake up, Kelsey was there. She told jokes, make inappropriate ineundos, and ensured Sarah had a few minutes of peace when she forgot the dangers. When Kelsey was going through her trying pregnancy, Sarah showed up with baby gifts in the form of a handmade baby blanket and the number for a photographer to capture all the future beautiful moments Kelsey would share with her family.

In other words, life happens. They say the best way to ensure change is to try and plan  something perfectly. Obviously, the sisters have been through their share of heartache. But they’ve made sure to remember that with heartache also comes joy. And thanks to their sorority and their vows, not only do they know they will always have someone to turn to, they also know how to make some amazing baby shower decorations. Nothing says forever like slaving over a hot glue gun and glitter.

They’re closer than many biologically related sisters, and that’s thanks to their sorority bond. Their vows made them sisters, but their hearts made them lifelong friends. One thing is for sure, they’re sure glad they “paid” for their friendship.

If you’re interested in reading the books they helped each other write, they’re both out now! Sarah’s book, First Semester, is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Kelsey’s, Queen of Emeralds, is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE. Both of them come in paperback, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited.

 

The Pieces of Us

Before I delve into the emotional roller coaster that is The Pieces of Us, book three in The Firebird Trilogy, you should just read the last two because this series is amazing and will give you a serious case of the feels! So uncorck a nice bottle of red (or pink if you’re Sarah and I) and get ready to sob like a Kardashian who just found out her private jet was out of Fiji Water.

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Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Sports Romance

When we next see Alex, our favorite Russian hockey hottie, he’s a shell of his former self. He’s trying to keep it together for his teenage daughter Anya’s sake, but he never imagined a life without Stephanie and now he’s adrift in the sea, no longer a hockey player, no longer a husband…but a widower and a single dad whose grief is only a year old.

And Anya, she’s grown. Now a senior in high school, she’s becoming a hockey star in her own right and plans to go for the big leagues. But her school’s new athletic trainer might derail her plans. Lucas is only 22 and sets Anya aflame with a look, but students and faculty are forbidden to date, and neither wants to run their career…but they can’t stay away.

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Just as Alex is beginning to see that his grief is overshadowing everything else in his life, including his daughter who needs him, a woman named Hannah walks into his life…and into his heart. But when he’s loved Stephanie for more than twenty years, wouldn’t it be a betrayal to bring another woman into her place? Could be open his heart enough for her to slip in? Or will the loss of Stephanie, his one great love, be the end of Alex?

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By page two, I needed a break. Over the past two books, I’ve fallen in love with Alex and Steph; rooted for them to reunite after high school, praying he would overcome drug addiction to be a better man, hoping she would overcome her health issues to deliver Anya safely… for her to die and leave Alex behind almost felt wrong. We’ve been told that happily ever afters are the only way to write, but isn’t the fact that I straight up ugly cried in chapter one a testament to Loring’s writing? I mean, I became really emotionally attached to these wonderful characters that weren’t always perfect, but flawed and messy and so real, it was as if watching the death of someone you truly knew.

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Even Anya, a new face as a young adult, made an impact. She lost her mother, and almost her father, while still following in his footsteps. And while her parents love began in high school and lasted through time, she didn’t know if she would be so lucky with Lucas, or if it was just a school girl crush.

I seriously love this series. The passion, the heartbreak, the reintroductions, and mystery of new love was all built so spectacularly, I’m so sad to see it go. But that’s the test of a truly good book; one you’ll be sorry to finally close, but pick up again later, when looking for a favorite read, ready to take the same adventure, and take it happily.

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Outlandish Clan History Part 7

Hi! It’s been a while, but I’m finally back with the 7th installment of Outlandish Clan History! You can read the previous 6 posts HERE on our Outlander page and see if your family, or your fav clans, are delved into. So, I hope you enjoy this post!

Clan Kennedy

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  • Clan Motto: Avise la Fin- consider the end

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This old lowland clan has quote the history! So let’s dive right in…

  • The family supported Robert the Bruce’s claim to the Scottish throne in 1372 and were later granted lands and a chiefdom by Robert II.
  • The Kennedy’s rapidly rose up in the ranks, staying close to the royal family. Gillbert Kennedy was even the regent to James III of Scotland when the young king was an infant.
  • One Kennedy, a mercenary named Hugh, even fought for Joan of Arc!
  • Dunure Castle was the original seat of the chiefs. It was built in the 13th century

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Clan Douglas

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  • Clan Motto: Jamais Mrrière- Never Behind
  • Clan War Cry: A Douglas! A Douglas!

Here’s a super ancient clan to explore that has so much history, you’ll want to look up the rest for yourself…

  • They got their name from the Douglas Water region in South Lanarkshire and were related to the Murry Clan.
  • They were one of the Lowland’s most influential clan, and are often acknowledged as being the true power behind the Scottish kings.
  • During the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Lord of Douglas, Sir William, fought against the English. But the English took his castle and made him swear allegiance to the crown. He totally did…but he had his fingers crossed behind his back while he did it and immediately joined William Wallace against the British. He later died for his “crimes” in the Tower of London.
  • Sir William had a son, who is widely known as “Black Douglas”. Black Douglas was friends with Robert the Bruce and was a top commander during the Scottish Wars of Independence. He was among the first to use guerrilla warfare against the British and was known for his brutality on the field. He’s even the topic of an English lullaby…
    • Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye. Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye. The Black Douglas shall not get ye
  • by 1440 the Douglas clan were thought to be getting too powerful. So, the “Black Dinner” was held by William Crichton, the Lord Chancellor of Scotland. William was pretty mad that his power being usurped a bit by the Douglas clan, so he invited teenage Earl of Douglas, along with his little brother, to dinner where he served them the head of a black boar. Then, against King James II’s wished, the boys were beheaded. This was the inspiration for the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones!

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Clan Wemyss

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  • Clan Motto: Je Pense- I Think

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Let’s take a look into the history of this lowland Scottish clan…

  • This ancient clan got their name from the caves in Wemyss, on the south coast of Fife and are descended from Celtic nobility, through the MacDuffs of Fife.
  • They originally pledged their allegiance to the English, but switched over to Robert the Bruce. In retaliation, the English sacked Wemyss Castle, their ancestral seat, but didn’t hold it long. Fun fact, Wemyss Castle is where Mary Queen of Scots met her husband Lord Darnley in 1565. (see castle below)
  • During the Jacobite uprisings of 1745, James Wemyss married a woman by the last name of Charteris and took to the side of the Jacobites. He stayed close to Prince Charlie, even fleeing to France with him, and his lands were taken by the crown. His second son took his mother’s name, Charteris, and joined their teensy clan.

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Clan Cathcart

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  • Clan Motto: I hope to speed

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Are you a member of this lowland clan? Let’s learn a few things…

  • They get their names from the River Cart, a tributary of the River Clyde. The first chief was Rainaldus de Kethcart, who was noted in history in the 1170s.
  • During the Scottish Wars of Independence, they first caved to the English, but Alan de Cathcart’s wife was distantly related to the Bruce family, so they followed Robert the Bruce’s brother Edward into battle.
  • The Cathcarts were loyal to the English crown, by the time of the 1715 Jacobite risings and even lead the Royal Scots Greys against the Jacobites, which were troops of royal dragoons.
  • Their loyalty to the British made them successful and they were then made ambassadors to Russia, given command of the British army in Scotland, and given lands and titles for their continued successes in fighting for England in other wars.

Clan Grierson

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  • Clan Motto: Hoc Securior- Safer by This

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This lowland clan, which is related to the Gregor clan, has a nice little history…

  • It’s accepted that their name came from “Gregor” and was shifted over the years into it’s present form, but that is still under debate, as records in the 800s weren’t exactly perfect! But it is a face that the name, at one point, was “Grerson”.
  • In 1408 they came into possession of the lands in Lag and lived, and married, closely with Clan Douglas.
  • They fought alongside Mary Queen of Scots and James VI, giving them knighthoods, titles, and power.
  • One man, Robert Grierson, got quite the reputation. He was so viscous in his persecution of the Covenanter (Scottish Presbyterians that were thought to be against the Scottish crown) that he’s become a local legend. Known as “Cruel Lag”, he is said to have denied executed men time to prey and made pacts with the devil.

Clan MacTavish

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  • Clan Motto: Non Oblitus- Not Forgetful
  • Clan War Cry: Cruach Mor!- Refers to a meeting place in their ancestral lands

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I know this name is familiar to many of you! But let’s take a moment to learn a few things…

  • This ancient highland clan is as traditional as they come in many ways. It’s said they come from Taus, the illegitimate son of Colin Mael Maith, who claimed lineage from King Arthur. They’re also cousins of the Campbells and the McIvers, as the “fathers” of both clans were two other sons of Colin Mael Maith, which only the Campbell son being legitimate. I know, a bit confusing!
  • They stayed out of the Jacobite uprisings, for the most part, with some members independently fighting with the MacIntosh clan with the Jacobites. But that didn’t save them from the Highland Clearances…
  • However, unlike many chiefs, the leaders of the MacTavish clan’s didn’t sell off their lands, force their tenants to move, or mistreat them after the fall of the Jacobites. But many of the clan took on the Thompson/Thomson name to avoid persecution as highlanders.
  • Now, let’s take a moment to appreciate Graham McTavish! While I’m not 100% sure what his alliance is to Clan MacTavish, the Glasgow born actor is proud of his roots and his last name is an alternate spelling of this clan’s. If you know if he claims membership, let me know!

Clan Ruthven

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  • Clan Motto:Deid Schaw- Deeds Show

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This is a tidy little lowland clan for you to look at…

  • Hailing from Norse stock, they got their name from the old “Ruadhainn” lands in Perthshire in the 12th century.
  • In the 1200s then faked out the English, which is starting to look like a theme here, and later supported William Wallace and was rewarded handsomely.
  • Remember the Charterises we talked about a bit before? Well, that clan and the Ruthvens didn’t get along. The Charterises were given some land by Robert the Bruce, but the Ruthvens thought that land was theirs. Soooo when the Charterises came to Perth, the Ruthvens barred the gates and all attempts to take the town were unsuccessful.
  • By the 1700s the Ruthvens were basically gone from the public sphere and kept to themselves, as their line was taken over by distant cousins and the like.

Clan Primrose

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  • Clan Motto: Fide et Fiducia- By Faith and Trust

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Here are some fun facts about this lowland clan…

  • They come from the land of Primrose in Fife and the first recorded ancestor was Henry Primrose in 1490.
  • Henry’s grandson, Gilbert, was the personal chaplain to King James VI of Scotland and Charles I of England. He also later became the Dean of Windsor.
  • Mainly English supporters, like many lowland clans, they largely stayed out of the wars between Scotland and England. But at least one Primrose man was executed for being a Jacobite supporter.
  • Their ancestral seat is fairly modern, but totally gorgeous! Take a look at Dalmeny house, where the Primrose earls still live. PS some parts are available for rent, if you’re planning a Scottish wedding!

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Clan Johnstone

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  • Clan Motto: Nunquam Non Paratus- Never Unprepared

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This border reiver clan has a fun little history…

  • In their early days, somewhere in the 7-800s, they were the most powerful and ruthless border clan. They were tasked with keeping watch over the English and often raided the English villages that crept close to the Scottish border.
  • But in the 1100s, their chief, John Johnstone, pledged his allegiance to the English crown and was gifted lands and made Warden of the border areas between the two countries. However, the Johnstones continued to only raid the English, never the Scottish.
  • Still, They did fight with their neighboring clans, particularly those of Clan Moffat. in 1557 the Johnstones wanted to end the feud once and for all. So they killed their chief and trapped a bunch of the Moffat members into a church before burning it to the ground. It decimated the clan and the Johnstones took their lands and holdings.

Clan Lennox

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  • Clan Motto: I’ll Defend

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This ancient earldom has a few fun facts surrounding it. So let’s take a look at their long history…

  • This Lowland name is so old, they are said to have came from the ancient Celts. Still, it’s under dispute how exactly they came to be. Some say it was from a Saxon lord marrying a Scottish heiress, while others have said that they were granted lands by a king. They may have also gotten their name from the Scottish Gaelic, for “smooth stream”, “Leven-ach”.
  • By the time of the Scottish Wars of Independence, they were one of the richest and most powerful nobles in Scotland. This is partly due to their ability to “bullshit” the English crown into thinking they were in support of them while actually backing Robert the Bruce.
  • In the 15th and 16th century, their power stared to falter. This is partly due to the Lennox heiress marring an English lord, whose family had a hand in murdering the Scottish King Jame’s brother. King James got revenge of them and the Lennox title was passed around Scotland and England. But in the 19th century, the title was restored.

Clan MacArthur/Arthur

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  • Clan Motto: Fide Et Opera- By Fidelity and Work
  • Clan War Cry: Eisd! O Eisd!- Listen! Oh, Listen!

Here’s another old clan with a fun history!

  • This clan is one of the oldest Highland clans in history, claiming heritage alongside Clan Campbell. And although they’re old, they didn’t obtain vast amounts of land until Robert the Bruce rewarded them for their bravery and support during the Scottish Wars of Independence.
  • Butttt their power was short lived, as in 1427, the popular MacArthur chief was beheaded by King James as a show of power. As a result, the clan lost much of it’s land.
  • In 1771 the clan chief died without an heir, and the clan was without a leader for more than 200 years until a Canadian man claimed the title in 2003. What a lucky guy!

Clan Spens

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  • Clan Motto:Si Deus Quis Contra-If God is for us, who is against us

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This Lowland clan, part of which is a sept of Clan MacDuff, has an old history as well!

  • The Spens came to be in in the late 1000’s when William the Conquer came to England, bringing with him a Normal knight named Robert d’Abbetot. Robert was made a steward in Scotland, the old French of that title being “Spens”.
  • Going forward, members of the clan supported the English and the Scottish in turn, often playing both sides for power. But by the 15th century, they were firmly in support of the Scottish Crown, taking roles of bodyguards to King James, making affluent marriages to other Scotish nobles, and taking over various church positions.
  • Later, they were sent to Sweden as ambassadors in the late 1500s, where they rose through the ranks to become Swedish nobility, as Count Spens.

Clan Hannay

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  • Clan Motto:Per Ardua Ad Alta- Through difficulties to Heaven

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Let’s clan about Clan Hannay, who one of my favorite plaid patterns…

  • The Hannay are an ancient family that came from old Galloway nobles, but because a true clan sometime in the 1200s.
  • During the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Hannays were skeptical of Robert the Bruce and opted to support John Balliol for the crown. Balliol was a distant cousin of the Hannays, as they both came from Galloway nobles.
  • They continued to amass power until they butted heads with Clan Murray. The Murrays crushed them in their many feuds and the Hannays lost all power.
  • Sorbie Tower was their ancestral seat for years and is open for exploration today, for free.

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Clan Grant

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  • Clan Motto: Craig Elachie – refers to a rallying point in time of war
  • Alternative Clan Motto: Stand Fast, Stand Sure

For our final clan of the day, lets learn about the Grants!

  • The ancestors came from Normandy with the early conquerors and was descended from Aplin, the father of the fist king of the Scots, Kenneth MacAlpin.
  • They became true Highland powerhouses when they supported both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, being rewarded with vast swatches of land.
  • They were such powerful forces, they often steamrolled other clans for coveted lands and castle, most notably Castle Grant, which had first belonged to Clan Comyn.
  • But they also made powerful allies, such as Clan Gordon and Clan Gregor, keeping them in power though wit, as well as force.
  • For the most part, they supported the English Crown during the Jacobite Rebellions, with only small factions fighting for the Jacobites. This was a smart move in maintaining their power and place in Scotland, as they weren’t affected by the Highland Clearances and were even given a spot on the Black Watch.
  • Going back to Castle Grant, it’s said to be haunted by Lady Barbara Grant, who died of a broken heart after being imprisoned in order to keep her from marrying the wrong man.

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That’s it! Maybe I’ll do a part 8, but that’s really dependent on what you guys think. Do you want a part 8? Are there other clans I haven’t talked about that you’re interested in? Let me know! But check the past 6 parts HERE before naming them, in case I’ve already discussed them.

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE. Both of them come in paperback, ebook, and Kindle Unlimited.

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Release Day Giveaway

Sarah and Kelsey have been hard at work with their first novels and are pleased to announce that they’re finally available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and even in paperback! Not only that, they have two giveaway items provided by Dturner Designs to celebrate!

First Semester

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What happens when a college freshman learns about love and lust in the classroom and threats and danger in the hallway? Find out in book one of the Elton Hall Chronicles, First Semester.

Genre: New Adult Suspenseful Romance

This novel is available on Amazon HERE in all forms.

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But that’s not all! You can win this First Semester bracelet by Dturner Designs HERE and there’s no purchase necessary!

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Queen of Emeralds

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Charlotte planned, one day, to return home to England. But when her heart blossoms in Scotland like the heather upon the hills, will she able to leave? Find out in book one of The Scottish Stone Series, Queen of Emeralds.

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

This novel is available HERE on Amazon.

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But that’s not all! You can win this Queen of Emeralds bracelet by Dturner Designs HERE and there’s no purchase necessary!

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Now for Dturner Designs! When the lovely owner contacted us about a giveaway, it took one look at her shop to jump right in! Her work is fast, clean, and made to your specification. She was lovely about making sure that both our pieces were exactly how we wanted them. Absolutely lovely customer service! Here are a few pics of her work…

As you can see, she doesn’t just do jewelry, she does keychains, ornaments, remembrance pieces, even earrings and pins!

You can view her entire etsy shop HERE

And be sure to follow her on Instagram HERE

Outlandish Mixology

Are you gearing up for a Voyager party in September? A special viewing with you and your fellow Sassenachs? I know Season three of Outlander is a few months away, but planning a good party takes time! Maybe you just want to have a party to rewatch season 2? Either way, let’s take a look at some super easy drinks to spice up your party!

The Voyager

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Get your guests in the mood with a Voyager inspired cocktail that mimics the deep blue of the sea. For this, all you need is cranberry juice, a lime, vodka, and blue curacao.

  • Directions:
    • In shaker (or two well fitting glasses) full of ice, pour in 1/4 cup of cranberry juice
    • Add 1 ounce of vodka
    • Then add 1 ounce of the blue curacao and a squeeze of lime
    • Give it a few shakes and pour into a glass

Claire’s Concoction

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This is one Sarah thought of this one, which she says is a great representation of Claire: pretty, but packs a punch! It combines vodka (a great sterilizer), champagne (a French staple), and some natural garnishes. All you need is Raspberry Vodka, Champagne, one lime, and a few fresh berries.

  • Directions:
    • Fill a champagne flute halfway
    • Add a splash of vodka
    • Squeeze a small dash of lime into the glass
    • Finish off with a few of your berries for taste and looks

Seumas Ruadh (Red Jamie)

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Here’s a drink that’s tall, red, and fills you with warmth…just like you’d want Jamie to do! It’s also super simple to put together, making it an easy fix for when you’re on the run from Redcoats. All you need is Aperol, any kind of rye whiskey, club soda, and ice. You can also garnish with fruit if you like, but it’s not necessary.

  • Directions:
    • Fill a glass with ice
    • Pour in 1 and 1/2 ounces of the Aperol
    • Pour in 1 and 1/2 ounces of your whiskey
    • Add in a splash of the club soda to tie it all together

Black Jack’s Whip

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This one’s not for the faint of heart, much like Black Jack’s whip. It seems unassuming, but packs quite a bite. For this sharp beverage, you need Yukon Jack honey whiskey and some lime juice, or a straight up lime. BTW, this combo is super strong, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself, and your guests, into!

  • Directions:
    • Fill a small glass with the whiskey
    • Add a splash of lime juice, or squeeze in a liberal amount of fresh lime
    • Take a sip like a champ

The Emerald Eye

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We all recall the vivid green of Geillis Duncan’s eyes. It’s a trait she’s passed on through the ages and Claire can recall as soon as her name is mentioned. Why not pay homage to the woman we all love to hate with this little mixture made of champagne, sour apple schnapps, triple sec, and vanilla vodka? BTW this recipe serves 4!

  • Directions:
    • In a shaker with ice, pour 2 ounces of schnapps
    • Add 1 ounce of vanilla vodka
    • Pour in 3/4 ounces of triple sec
    • In your glasses, fill them about 3/4 the way with the champagne
    • Finally, pour the green mixture evenly into your 4 glasses of champagne and enjoy!

Black Jack’s Embrace

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Here’s another Black Jack beverage to send chills down your spine. It’s not as strong as the other, as it’s more of a lavender martini, which you know is Jonathan Randall’s signature scent. For this, you’ll need a shaker (or two well fitting cups would do), ice, lavender syrup, vanilla vodka, and a sprig of fresh lavender or mint to spruce up your glass.

  • Directions:
    • Fill your shaker with ice
    • Add about 1 and 1/2 ounces of the vodka to the shaker
    • Then you pour in about 1/4 ounce of the lavender syrup, but you might want more to taste
    • Shake like there’s no tomorrow and pout into a martini glass. You can strain the ice, or not, and add your little garnish

The Bee’s Secret

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This is a sweet little beverage that will have you pining for the next book in the Outlander series. The white rum, honey, and milk mixture might sound strange, but it’s the perfect sipping beverage. You can also add a sprinkling of chocolate on top for an extra sweet treat.

  • Directions:
    • Fill a shaker with ice
    • Add 2 ounces of white rum
    • Pour in 1teaspoon of milk
    • And add 1 teaspoon of honey
    • Shake it up and pour it into a glass! You can choose to strain the ice, or not, and add your shaved chocolate if you wish.

La Dame Blanche

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This unassuming little drink looks innocent, but is much stronger than it appears. All you need for this simple potion is vodka, lemon juice, sugar, and lemongrass syrup.

  • Directions:
    • Ready a small dish with granulated sugar and rim your cup with lemon juice to make it sticky before dipping the rim in the sugar (like the picture above)
    • In a separate glass, combine 1 and 1/2 ounces of vodka, 1/4 ounce lemongrass syrup, and 1/3 ounce lemon juice (or more to taste), and stir
    • Gently pour the concoction in your rimmed glass and enjoy! BTW, I suggest adding a few ice cubes to your rimmed glass to keep things nice and cold.

Murtagh’s Mix

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As we know, Murtagh’s grandmother was Irish. Add in the fact that Murtagh’s constant presence was like a warm embrace from an old friend, let’s take a little twist on the classic Irish coffee as an ode to Murtagh. For this, you just need fresh coffee, whipped cream, nutmeg, some Scottish whiskey, cream (flavored if you’d like), white sugar, and brown sugar.

  • Directions:
    • Brew some dark roasted coffee of your choice
    • In a tall glass, pour in one ounce of whiskey
    • Add a tablespoon of white sugar
    • Add a teaspoon of brown sugar
    • When coffee is brewed, pour it into the glass
    • Add a measure of cream to taste
    • Top with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg and brown sugar

A Furgus Refresher

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This sweet and tart non-alcoholic drink is perfect for your underage guests. It’s cute, simple, and always a fan favorite. For this, you’re going to have to add grapefruit juice, lemon juice, limes, and Sprite (or other lemon/lime soda) to your shopping list. BTW, this recipe serves 4!

  • Directions:
    • In a pitcher of ice add 1 and 1/2 cups of grapefruit juice
    • Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a dash of lime
    • Gently pour in 4 cups of Sprite
    • Carefully stir and serve in fancy mocktail glasses. I think adding in a stick of rock candy would also be a fabulous garnish!

 The French King’s Kiss

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Who can forget how King Louis offered Claire a lovely orange when she went to beg for Jamie’s life? And, even more, how quickly the whole ordeal was over? Let’s nod to that with an orange shot! You’ll need orange juice, Triple Sec, and vodka.

  • Directions:
    • Add 1ouce of OJ, Triple Sec, and vodka into a shaker
    • Give it three firm shakes
    • Pour into a shot glass and enjoy…very quickly and before it’s over

Master Raymond’s Poison

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Nothing says “Master Raymond” quite like poisoning someone. Not saying you should kill anyone at your party (this isn’t a Game of Thrones wedding!), but adding a creepy drink for them to savor might just a nice touch. This simple recipe calls for black vodka and rosemary-lemon syrup (although you can choose any flavor you want).

  • Directions:
    • In a shaker full of ice, pour 4 ounces of vodka
    • Add  2 ounces of syrup
    • Shake the hell out of it and pour into a glass of your choice

That’s it for this week! Click HERE to read all our past Outlander posts!

BTW Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

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Undead Love: Long Road Home

Finally, Lee Sutherland is back with book three in his Undead Love series, Long Road Home. To refresh, I’ve read and reviewed book one HERE and book two HERE! Y’all know that I’m a fan of any series where there are zombies, outbreaks, and general mayhem, so  let’s jump right in…

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Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Apocalyptic Romantic Thriller

When Ares moved to Los Angeles, he thought his biggest problem would be the famous California Earthquakes. Now, he’s one of the few survivors in an undead world, holed up in his, now empty, apartment complex. He’s thought about leaving, but the undead are everywhere, he has a stockpile to last him months, and he only has one gun and a handful of tools as weapons. But one thing could make him leave his hideout…coffee.

Emilia wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of Los Angeles and get home to Arizona. But the undead flooding the streets put a damper on her plan…until she meets Ares by chance while he’s out scavenging. He’s crass, a bit sexist, and pretty skeptical of her plans to escape the city. But Ares has a family of his own, and he doesn’t want to abandon hope just yet. So they gather their goods and hatch a plot to find their families. But it’s not just the undead they need to fear.

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I’m a huge fan of series, when they’re done well, and Sutherland has given a third book to be proud of. The story is separate from the others, but they all find ways to interconnect, eventually giving you one giant story of love, sex, loss, violence, and survival. Another thing I found particularly comforting between the motorcycle chases, beat downs, and sexual tension were the lack of typos. I do love a flawless, perfectly edited book. Overall, I didn’t find anything to complain about in this book, and you won’t either! 6/6 Glass slippers!

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