history, Podcast

My Fav Podcasts

With the quarantines and social distancing , we’re all looking for ways to escape a bit. While I love reading and writing, I always adore a good podcast. I’ve compiled a list of shows I really enjoy, so while you’re working out, taking walks, driving, cleaning, whatever, you can immerse yourselves in some awesome stories. I listen strictly on the Apple Podcast app, but these shows are usually available on all podcast platforms.

Crime Junkies

Crime Junkies is a true crime series hosted by a pair of best friends who lay out the facts about murders, kidnappings, and missing people in a way that really pulls you in. While they cover the big stories, they also dive into the lesser known cases that might be new for you. It’s great for true crime lovers who aren’t looking to be bogged down with too much back story. The hosts are also really good at connecting with their fans and have active blogs and Facebook pages so you can double down. You can listen on any podcast platform HERE.

Tumanbay

This podcast was inspired by the Mamluk Slave Dynasty of ancient Egypt and pulls historical themes and all new elements in to build a sweeping story. It follows the intertwining lives of several people, including the nephew of a Sultan, a king turned slave, a slave trader’s daughter, and a mysterious queen with a vast network of spies. It really feels like you’re listening to an episode of Game of Thrones without the dragons. Really, the narration and the background noises are insanely good. From BBC Radio, it’s available HERE or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

History Extra Podcast

A podcast that follows the stories published in BBC History Magazine, it delivers bite sized facts for any history lover. From war to food to famous figures, there are dozens of episodes that cover a multitude of themes and periods. History fans really shouldn’t miss this informative show, which has taught me quite a few lesser-known tales from bygone ages. You can begin listening HERE.

Dateline

This one is exactly what you think…Dateline shows turned podcast episodes. Watching Dateline was never my thing, but I really like true crime and enjoy how each Dateline episode is folded into a neat story. It’s edited in such a way that not seeing the evidence and photos doesn’t complicate things. You can start listening now HERE.

Noble Blood

Noble Blood is a new favorite of mine. It lays out the darker stories of the kings, queens, and other blue bloods who had less than picture perfect lives…or ends. It’s sparked more than a few midnight Google searches, which is basically what we all need right now. History and royalty lovers will adore listening to tales of poison, jilted lovers, and missing gems. Dive in HERE.

The White Vault

A fictional found footage drama, each season follows a new cast as they explore and unearth ancient secrets that are more dangerous than they could ever imagine. The cast is amazing and the storyline is detailed, but easy enough to follow, even if you’re multi-tasking. Fans of horror and sci-fi will probably really enjoy following the repair team to an arctic outpost or a team of archeologists as they explore hidden caves. Start listening on any platform HERE.

Stuff you Missed in History Class

This show is a lighter look at some of the stranger pieces of history, like the Victorian Orchid craze or the haunted Flannan Islands. Of course they cover some of the basic historical themes like World War II, but from new angles that are great for old fans of specific eras or newbies interested in learning some fun facts. It’s a nice way to learn a fun fact or two incase Jeopardy ever calls. They’re on all platforms, so start listening HERE.

We’re Alive

Set in the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, it follows a ragtag military team as they try to contain an outbreak and pick up civilians along the way. Each character has their own voice actor and the stories, while deep, are easy to follow. The story continues for decades with the cast aging, dying, having kids, and exploring new ways of finding out how to rebuild in a post-undead world. Horror and sci-fi fans will declare this one a hit. Start listening HERE.

Blackout

Rami Malek is the star host of this apocalyptic drama where he plays a small town radio DJ who watches as the world goes dark. As his teenage son and his friends try to make their way home from a camping trip, Rami’s character tries to stick to the facts on his radio show as things around him fall apart. Part thriller, part drama, it’s a must for lost who enjoy heart racing stories. Begin episode one HERE.


I’m always on the lookout for something new. If you have a podcast to share, please let me know! And Sarah and I both hope that you and your families stay safe, happy, and healthy in this difficult time.

book review, history, review, television

The Bonfire of Destiny

Hello, everyone! It’s freezing here in New Jersey, which means it’s time to binge read and watch until I can go outside without 64 layers on. So between my usual book reviews, I’ll be sharing shows I think you should be watching. And if it’s based on true events, I’ll give you the real deal.

The first show? The Bonfire of Destiny.

Genre: Historical Drama

Where to Watch: Netflix

In 1897 Paris, the aristocracy has descended on an annual charity bazaar to see the moving picture show, shop with all their wealthy friends, and generally be seen. It’s just one of the many social functions for the French elite who have no idea, tragedy will strike.

Adrienne is the unhappy wife of a politician who mistreats her terribly. Although he has just sent their daughter away to boarding school to punish Adrienne, she must still make an appearance at the bazaar. As soon as she shows her face, she slips back outside and into a waiting carriage, safe from the impending flames. But she’s not free from danger.

Alice, Adrienne’s niece, is thrilled to go out on the town with her maid Rose, both to do some shopping and to see a man she’s had her eye on. Wide eyed and wealthy, she’s has a good heart and doesn’t expect one small fire to destroy everything. And as those around her being sifting through the rubble, she sees everything in a new light.

Rose the maid is gearing up to sail to a new life with her husband Jean. She’s fiercely dedicated to Alice, and even goes back into the building to se if she can save her mistress before the fire gets out of hand. She enters the bazaar a nobody, and like a Phoenix, rises from the ashes.

The mood is electric and stories are intertwined as a fire both destroys lives and gives the chance for new ones. As the show goes on, murder, intrigue, and secret affairs are revealed with death in the background.

Even if historical shows aren’t usually your deal, the soapy dramas and lovable, and hatable, characters pull you in. The voiceovers are immaculate, and every episode leaves you wondering when the other shoe will drop.


Onto the facts! Starting in 1885, the Catholic aristocracy of Paris held the annual charity bazaar. It was a chance for the wealthy women and their maids to socialize while giving back to a good cause. But in 1897, everything would literally come crashing down.

The bazaar that year was held in a wooden building, where the inside was transformed into a medieval Paris street with the use of wood, papier-mâché, canvas for a roof, and other various other flammable things. Scheduled to last for four days, it was expected to be a hit.

More than 1,500 people were in attendance on the second day of the bazaar. Even Americans and other Europeans came to see the sites. One of the most notable was Duchess Sophie, the sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. At around four thirty, the projector in the small cinema caught on fire. The fire burned hot and fast, rapidly engulfing the building in flames and setting the cloth ceiling alight.

There were several exits, but none of them were clearly marked, and some were hidden behind the decorations. Many ran for the main doors, which were soon clogged with people. There were men in attendance, who were faster and stronger than the women, who struggled to move quickly in their mass of skirts. There were reports of men pushing women and children out of the way to escape first.

This was before the idea of modern fire safety. There was a fire brigade, but no contemporary hydrants or way for them to really put out the flames. People escaped though some of the exits, though many of the doors opened inwards and jammed when frantic people pushed against them. Those outside broke out windows to help people climb to the streets. Most notably, the cook and manager of the Hotel du Palais broke bars off a window and saved over 150 women while also poring water down on the flaming bazaar from the hotel.

But the fire moved quickly and soon it became too risky to try to save anyone else. People, mostly women, were still trapped inside. Their skirts were flammable, many had been trampled, and the walls and ceiling were beginning to fall. The fireman continued to spray the building as those inside screamed until the only sound that was left was the crackle of fire.

In the end, 126 people were confirmed dead while around 200 were injured. Many were so badly burned, they could only be identified by their jewelry. Some dentists were even called on to identify their patients by their teeth, one of the first uses of dental records in the identification of a body.

The aristocracy, and the Parisians at large, we’re shocked and demanded both an explanation and justice. In the end, it was officially noted to be an accident. But the public still wanted someone to answer for the tragedy.

The President of the Charity Bazaar Committee Ange-Ferdinand-Armand, the Baron of Mackau was the first. His charge was negligence, as he didn’t hire enough staff or ensure the doors were clearly marked. Then came the cinema operator Victor Bailac and his assistant Gregoire Bagrachow. Apparently, the light for the projector went out and the cinema staff had to hurry to relight the small flame. But in their haste, a mistake was made as the match they used lit the ether gasses that surrounded them. Soon, the drapery caught fire and the damage was done.

In the end, all charged were set to pay fines, and Bailac and Bagrachow were sentenced to short prison terms. Items found in the bazaar’s rubble were auctioned off and the lessons learned from the tragedy resulted in better fire safety laws in France.


I hope you enjoyed this little look into The Bonfire of Destiny. Check back soon for similar posts on shows like Vikings, You, Daybreakers, Banished, and more.

history, outlander, television

A Day in the Life

Diana Gabaldon is a master of mixing business with pleasure when it comes to facts and fantasy. She put a dream guy in a real-life world that we can all immerse ourselves into. But Jamie’s a laird, even though he’s usually on the run. He has friends and relatives in high places that generally keeps him, and his wife Claire, fed and dressed and reasonably housed very often. But what about the common man? What of the farmers and their wives or the lads and lasses who went to the cities to make their fortune?

Today we’re going to chat a bit about about what life was like for those not blessed with a title, a killer bod, or the ability to make us swoon with the swipe of a kilt…

Highland Homes

 

The average Scottish family didn’t live in a manor home or castle like Jamie grew up in. Mostly, they were born, lived, and died in a small hut made of a mud and sand mixture over a wooden frame with a straw roof. There were usually no windows, as the common man couldn’t afford glass, with the only light coming from the front door, the hole in the ceiling that allowed smoke to escape from the center fire, and handmade candles.

If there was money to spare, and you had some strong lads from the nearby village to help you, the home could be made of stone with a small fire place built right into the wall. Some of these sturdier houses have even withstood the tests of time and still have people living in them today! In the winters, if you couldn’t afford a barn or shed for your animals, you’d be sharing some of your living space with your livestock, as the snow in Scotland can pile up!

tumblr_oon7apQyZc1vrpl1io1_400
And maybe you’d be lucky enough to share your living space with HIM!

Farming

 

The average Highlander relied heavily on milk products for a large part of their diet. So they kept high numbers of cattle, sheep, and goats. Goats in particular thrived in the Highlands, as they could eat anything and still produce milk, although cattle was largely preferred. The butter, cheese, and milk would be used by the family or sold and traded for other goods they couldn’t make themselves. There was also the meat to consider. Every fall, some of the animals would be slaughtered and their meat salted to keep the farmers through the long winter months. And if winter wasn’t kind, the animals could be bled, their blood added to the morning porridge to give added nutrients.

Barley and oats were also a farming staple, providing another large portion of the Highland diet. It could be made into things like porridge, cakes, bread, and then served with a bit of honey or butter. Kale and hemp were also grown, as were turnips and cabbages before the introduction of the potato.

But all these things took money and land, something that was usually controlled by landlords or lower nobles, making the farmers who usually worked the lands, tenants. These tenants would have to pay a portion of their crop to their landlords. Still, if the land was good and there were enough people to work it, a family could make it through the winter…even if it was only on stale bread.

sam-four.gif

Clothes 

 

What we see on Outlander are perfectly disheveled Scots in gallant plaid who still look handsome when covered in blood, women with polished buns and clean hems, and the rest of the costumes we’ve all grown to love. Now, the costumes were all carefully cultivated and created to be as historically accurate as possible, save for some tartan shades and the like, but what did the rest of Scotland wear?

Women’s outfits weren’t much different than those in England, Ireland, and the surrounding areas. Mainly consisting of linen shifts and homespun dresses in various colors, married women covered their heads in kerchiefs while the unmarried lasses were allowed to wear theirs down and uncovered. Many women did often wear tartan shawls that was really an all purpose item. It was used for warmth over the shoulders, around the head like a veil, to cover babies and small children, or used as a makeshift pouch to carry things in. They were often bare-footed year round, but sometimes donned leather or deerskin shoes that were similar to the Native American Moccasins in North America.

For the most part, men lived in their kilts, wearing them while working during the way, then using them as bedding at night. But as you can imagine, it wasn’t always easy to do all the farming with a great pile of tartan wrapped around you. So some men wore trews, a sort of leggings that were made of tartan or the usual homespun that made up shirts and dresses. A shorter kilt, that doesn’t have the upper portion that wraps around the shoulder, also came into style in the early part of the 1700s, an item that allowed them more freedom. When not barefoot, leather or deerskin shoes were the thing to wear over stockings. And of course, sporrans were worn, but not every day, as a small pouch of leather would  be normally used instead. Knitted and decorative hats were also worn by men and were often colorful.

tumblr_neqta9dfXx1rvecw0o1_500

The Average Day

weaverscottage 1772.jpg

Highlanders would wake up when the sun rose, getting the most of out daylight hours. The wife/mother would dress and build up the fire while the husband/father would go tend to the animals. A large pot of porridge would be made for the family, who might take it with some milk or honey and some bread. Then the work would begin. If the family was rich enough and the farm wasn’t in need of their help, the sons might be sent to a local Kirk parish school to learn English, Latin, and maybe a trade. The girls could be sent to small women’s classes to learn the finer parts of sewing, cooking, and weaving, but those were skills that could be easily learned in the home. Largely, education among the average Highlander took a back seat to tending the farm and family.

The men and boys would go tend the animals again, butcher meat, work the fields, fix roofs, hunt, fish, and other physical labor. The women and girls would make candles, sew, prepare food for winter, do laundry, and help in the fields when needed. Keeping the farm and home in running order was a task for the whole family.

Lunch might be an oatcake with salted meat and cheese. Wild berries would be added to the mix when they could be picked by the children. This meal was meant to be eaten over a short break in the fields and not savored as other meals might be. And after lunch, the work would resume until the sun began to go down and it was time for supper.

Dinner was made of whatever was fresh in the warmer months, like salmon from the river or some stew made of whatever wild game they could collect. Unless it was winter, they rarely ate any beef, saving it for the colder months when butchering livestock was a necessity. In the winter, their evening meal was made of whatever they managed to preserve like sausages and roasted turnips, a hearty stew of cured meat, onions and carrots, and the ever present oatcake. This was eaten around the table upon low stools, lit by handmade candles.

Then after a final look at the livestock, it was time to sleep, unless there was some form of entertainment to be had like a round of songs and something being played on the fiddle. The parents usually slept in some form of pallet with the children either joining them in the single bed, in a small trundle, or on the floor beside the heath.

giphy.gif

Other Forms of Income

 

If there were too many mouths to feed on the farm, there were other ways of making a living for the middle and lower classes. Boys could be sent to work at other, larger farms, which freed up the boy’s family from the burden of keeping him fed, while ensuring he was being payed and receiving meals at his new post. Girls could be trained as maids and housekeepers, which was an attractive option for many, as they could be nearer to larger cities and a bigger pool of potential male suitors. Apprenticeships can also be bought for boys who had the endurance to be a blacksmith or horse master. The military was also an attractive option, as it offered meals, pay, and lodging. Women who lived closer to villages or larger towns could get work as a laundress, midwife if she had the skill, or a weaver.

tumblr_otb7lmG6Mo1vmuenwo1_500.gif

I know, a lot to take in in such a condensed version and it’s only the smallest peek into the life of an average Scot! But I hope it’s given you a look into what it’d be like to live in Scotland. It wasn’t all riding horseback over rolling hills and dinners at the castle, but hard work and simple food to keep the body going. I thought next time I might chat a bit about a Highland wedding. Thoughts? In the meantime, you can check out our other Outlander posts HERE!

And if you like my posts, you’ll love my books. The Scottish Stone Series is a collection of tales set in Victorian England and Scotland. There are handsome Scots, sassy heiresses, British suitors, and plenty of kilts. Book one, Queen of Emeralds is available HERE while book two, The Amethyst Bride, is available HERE!

And if you love fandom jewelry, head over to this new Etsy shop HERE for some great Outlander goodies! Use the special code MIDNIGHT15 for 15% off your order! And when the necklaces are already liek $12, you’re getting a crazy deal!!

history, outlander

Scottish Sorcery

Scotland has had some problems with witchcraft for years! All those pesky sorceresses have been poisoning the wells, killing off the livestock, and spreading the plague since the beginning of time! But when did witches and the devil’s brides really come to light in Scotland? When did the downfall of women like Geillis Duncan begin? Gather ’round, fellow Sassenachs and I’ll tell you the story of witchcraft in Scotland…and it doesn’t begin with ancient druids…

DruidsDanceGIF.gif

Picture it, Scotland, 1563. The crops are failing, the animals are sick, and the children are all being born weak. Things aren’t looking too good and they can’t figure out why. They’ve been to church, pay their taxes, and try to be good people. So, obviously, it must be the work of the devil. And the historic tools of the devil’s work? Wayward women, who are often swayed by promises of beauty, wealth, and the power sorcery can provide.   That gave birth to the Witchcraft Act of 1563, which was based on several others put into action in England. It made witchcraft and associating with witches a capital offense. Sound familiar?

outlander-1.gif

There were a few witchcraft trials here and there in Scotland, but the North Berwick trials from 1590 to 1592 put them all to shame. They involved nobles, various countries, and 70 victims who were put to death…one such person was named…Geillis Duncan.

giphy

I know this might not be a shocker if you like to dabble in history, ever gave Geillis a google search, or read one of our previous Outlander posts about the real history mentioned in the books. But Geillis was a real, flesh and blood, woman whom the book character was based on. First, let’s talk about how these trials first started and then get into how Geillis got roped in.

The real trials began with King James of Scotland, who had been very nonchalant about earlier talks of witchcraft in Scotland. But rough sailing in 1589 changed all that. There were so many violent storms during his way to pickup his new wife Anne of Denmark, and on his way home, that he thought it would only be the work of witches. In his mind, no one else would dare mess up his blessed nuptials.

King_James_I_of_England_and_VI_of_Scotland;_Henry,_Prince_of_Wales;_Anne_of_Denmark_from_NPG.jpg

I mean, as anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows, it’s stressful enough without witches ruining your big day. And since James had the pleasure of seeing a few witch trials in Denmark and learning how their tried their witches, he knew he needed to clean up his country. So he dipped back to the Witchcraft Act of 1563 and pushed it to those in power, giving way to the North Berwick trials, which James couldn’t help but attend.

With the green light from the king, there were arrests left and right. The charges, beside overall sorcery, were things like poison, trying to sink the king’s ship, killing a neighbor, and overthrowing the monarchy with help from the devil. Getting someone arrested for witchcraft was as easy as a pointed finger and a bad word. Hmm…reminds me of someone…

tumblr_nn31qan0hb1utvhw1o1_500.gif

Anyways, once someone in North Berwick was accused of dancing with the devil, the torture would begin. I’m not going to be graphic, but in evolved poking, pricking, beating, drawing, and many other violent ways where the victim would be basically forced to not only confess to witchcraft, but also name the other members in their “coven”. This created a domino effect that ended up with even more people being tried.

Geillis Duncan was nothing but a lowly maid in Tranent when she was arrested. Her employer accused her of having magical healing powers and generally sneaking around to do the devil’s bidding. What followed were weeks of torture, the finding of a so-called “Witches Mark”, and her naming more than 7 fellow witches, who were also tried and put to death by hanging.

ala30_a4
Geillis Duncan’s confession

Then there were the Great Scottish Witch Hunts of 1597, 1628, 1649, and 1661. Each time, hundreds of accused witches would be arrested, tried for their supposed crimes, and then put to death. Torture was throughout, and the loose tongues brought on by hot pokers and pliers resulted in more “confessions” and accusations. In 1597 almost 400 people were put in trial throughout Scotland with around 200 being executed. In the last hunt, in 1661, nearly 700 people were tried in a 16 month period.

By the time of the last witch trial in 1727, between 4,000 and 6,000 people were tried with around 2,000 actually being executed. It declined mainly for two reasons, the first being that a larger portion of the population was getting educated. The second was when Scotland became a commonwealth to England in 1652, which largely took the power of the smaller Scottish courts…not that it really made much of a huge difference at first. The hysteria over witchcraft really came to an official end in 1763 when the British government repealed the original Witchcraft act of 1573, making the whole “death to witches” thing legally impossible. Good news, right, Claire?

source.gif

Finally, what made someone a prime target to be tried as the devil’s mistress in those days? Certainly not just a rocking’ bod and a soul you’re willing to bargain for. A witches’ mark  was one of the first things the captors searched for. Now these weren’t all forms of birthmarks, but if there was a raised feature on your body like a mole, wart, or even ac actual third nipple, they would claim it was the teat from which you fed your familiar, the personal helper of the accused. Usually, these perfectly normal marks would be pricked to check for bleeding, since everyone knows that black cats and crows only drink blood.

And not just birthmarks were in the spotlight, your ability to say certain prayers would be tested as well as your ability to handle holy items like crucifixes and the sacraments. They would also take a look at your livestock. If you had a shifty looking rooster or an owl roosted in the barn that couldn’t say The Lord’s Prayer, they were probably in league with the devil, thus helping you in your evil schemes. And if you had the misfortune to have a spouse die? Obviously that would be a sign that you’ve killed them off. And finally, after all the torture and seeing if you died when thrown in a river or hung from a tree, they would ask again the most important question…

b8d455ecc1a58c1b3d730a8b7a3fa21f

♥♥♥

That’s all for this week! I hope you liked reading a bit more about the witch trials in Scotland and you come back soon to see what else we have cooking for season three. If you want to read our other posts, or even take our Outlander witch quiz, click HERE!

 

And did you see our product review this morning? This great shop Fangirl Pixie Jar is selling Outlander, and other fandom, necklaces for only $12.35 and that’s without the 15% discount that comes only from us! To see more, click HERE!

mail.googleda.com

My blog partner Sarah’s latest book just came out and it’s my fav of her college romance series. So if you like steamy stories, bad boys with hearts of gold, street racing, true love, and some action, click HERE to preorder Third Wheel now!

Finally, I personally have two romance novels out that are set in Scotland! The third book will be out soon, but the first two are all set for your reading pleasure. Queen of Emeralds is available HERE and The Amethyst Bride can be picked up HERE!

 

book review, history, New Book, outlander, review

Droughtlander Reading List

Outlander is almost back and soon we’ll be able to watch, take in, dissect, and discuss each episode as they come. But there’s still a month before that and what if your kindle is a little light and your bookshelves are growing bare? I know that feeling and I’m here to help with some more of my favorite novels that Outlander fans might enjoy. To pick up any of these books, just click on the title to take you to their Amazon pages.

London by Edward Rutherfurd

51DQC79Or3L

This is for fans who miss stories that span the decades. This book follows London’s history from the ice age to the present day in the steps of several families. It’s great for history buffs who want some sex, action, and mystery in their reading. It’s a bit of a hefty undertaking, but my trusty paperback copy has been re-read so many times, I think it deserves top slot.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

51BXOOsm4cL.jpg

This is an author you’ve probably already heard about and one that Gabaldon actually likes as well. The Winter Sea is a novel about an author named Carrie who goes to Scotland to write a book about the Jacobites and finds out that she’s writing a true story, one that her ancestors lived, without even knowing it at first, in the form of waking dreams. There’s time travel of sorts, a touch of romance, a lot of history, and even more fun.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

51BYrMQNa+L

In 1792 a woman named Elizabeth finds herself unmarried at the age of 20 (gasp!) and moves from her comfortable estate to join her father in the mountains of New York. There she meets a man who lives among the Mohawk people and although her father tries to marry her off to a local doctor, Elizabeth is too headstrong to just sold off like a cow. Soon, she ends up at odds with the local slave owners, her family, and finds herself torn between the live she has the life she wants. Sounds a bit like Claire, doesn’t it?

A Rip in the Veil by Anna Belfrage

51wCUnpN7yL

Somehow, a woman named Alex is thrown from 2002 to 1658 and into the path of a Scottish outlaw named Matthew. Both are confused by the occurrence, but when both of you are basically on the run, it’s easy to take up together. While Alex grieves the lost of coffee, showers, and cars, Matthew begins to grow on her, especially when they begin to try and find out how she ended up back in time. This one is a hit or miss for Outlander fans, who may not enjoy the “younger” voice of the heroine and compare it a bit too much to Gabaldon’s rousing series. But it’s a good read that I think deserves a shot.

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

510o3a8v+KL._SY346_

In the midst of the Civil War, midwife Mary isn’t okay with staying home in safety as the menfolk fight. She joins the wounded, using her skills to help where she can and learning the realities of war as she goes. She is refused traditional medical schooling, but that doesn’t stop her from getting the guidance of two trained surgeons. This is a story of heartbreak, the horrors of war, and the will to live and succeed when others want you to fail.

Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi Gage

51Mp4-Z6MhL

Melanie is single, pregnant by a guy who ran away, and working in a museum when she daydreams about a hunky, kilted hero to save the day (don’t we all?). Then she’s pulled back in time and thrown into 16th century Scotland where people obviously thinks she a witch. Enter Darcy Keith, who finds himself drawn to the woman his people were about to try. Will Melanie long to return back to her own time, or be happy her wish literally came true?

The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

41GMWRHNYtL

Emma of Normandy is trapped in a loveless marriage to the King of England in 1002 and finds out that her husband is a terrible ruler. When the Vikings threaten their shores, Emma ends up having to take charge and defend her new home from invasion. But when her husband dies and the Viking king claims everything, Emma had a whole new world to battle with. This author marries the true accounts of Emma of Normandy with the touches of fiction that makes it a great read.

Waterfall by Lisa T Bergren

51Na5EjRVzL.jpg

Along with her sister, Gabi spends every supper being shlepped around archeological sites with her parents. They’re at a dig in Tuscany when she places her hand on a hand print in an ancient tomb. Then, you guessed it, Gabi is thrown back in time and into the arms of handsome Italian knight Marcello. But Gabi’s sister Lia was also pushed back to Marcello’s time and it then lost. Now Gabi must try to survive in the past, fight through her feelings to a man she can never be with, find her sister, and a way home. Now, this is technically a teen book, but it makes for a nice, light read.

A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland

51Vmhxkwa4L

Modern day Elizabeth is a failed romance author who has been suffering from writers block. But then dreams come to her of a kilted hero who can save her from herself. She takes a walk in the park, falls asleep by accident, and wakes up in the 1300s. She finds herself in the presence of a feared Scottish lord who has never shown any interest in  women…until her. This is a traditional romance with a bit of action.

Transcendence by Shay Savage

516c5-N-u2L

Here’s one you didn’t expect…caveman romance! That’s right. A caveman is checking his traps one day and comes upon a woman wearing odd clothing and making noises he couldn’t understand. Yes, that woman was sent to the past and instead of a Scottie hottie, she got a caveman. But there’s still a love story and an ending readers all love.

♥♥♥

That’s all for this list, but there’s more to see over on our Outlander page HERE!

And if you like all my Outlander posts, you’ll probably love my historical romance series. Set in Victorian England and Scotland and featuring two kilted men and the British woman who try to stay away, you can get Queen of Emeralds HERE and The Amethyst Bride HERE!

~GIVEAWAY~

Have you ever heard of the WeeBox? It’s a subscription box from Scotland that’s filled with perfectly cultivated items to give you a taste of the Highlands. Well, they’ve gives us a special wee box to give to one of you! Click HERE for all the super easy and free ways to enter.

Outlander+heeqweqader+1

New Book, Writing

The Amethyst Bride Release Day

The second installment of The Scottish Stone Series is here! You’ve read Charlotte and Conner’s story in Queen of Emeralds, but Charlotte’s best friend Lady Penelope Elmsly is looking for love. But when two men enter the picture and familial obligations complicate her already torn heart, what’s a well-born Victorian woman to do?

The Amethyst Bride is available HERE for purchase now!

It’s available in paperback, ebook, and it’s free on Kindle Unlimited! But if you haven’t read The Emerald Queen, book one, then you can get your copy HERE. And if contemporary romance is your thing, you can see the rest of Kelsey’s works HERE.

AB.jpg
book review, cover reveal, giveaway, New Book, Writing

Join Our Review Team!

Hello, lovely readers! Do you like historical romance? Contemporary thrillers? College tales containing sex and danger? Stories about kilted men? Do you like our writing? Well, how would you like to get copies of our books for free, weeks before they hit the shelves?

Well, you’re in luck! We have a super exclusive review team called KisS Romance ARCS who get advanced reader copies of all our books and you’re invited to join! Just click HERE and fill out the form!

thanks