Lady Honor’s Top Ten Healing Herbs

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Madelyn Hill to the Power of 10 series. Today, Madelyn shares ten healing herbs and her latest release, Highland Honor.

Here’s Madelyn!

Lady Honor MacAlister is a healer. Her innate healing ability allows her to sense which herb is right for any malady.

1. Ginger – Lady Honor uses ginger for upset stomachs, building immunity when one is ill, and even to apply to a cut or sore to help it heal faster.

2. Willow Bark – Lady Honor uses Willow Bark as a pain reliever that is steeped in a tea.

3. Lavender – Soothing in a tea to help calm someone or help with sleeping.

4. Honey – Lady Honor gathers honey from the Bee Boles to use in teas for soothing throats, but also as a barrier to prevent infection. Honey offers antibacterial properties.

5. Camphor Oil – Not readily available in Scotland as a natural resource, but available for purchase in larger cities such as Edinburgh. Aids colds and consumption, think Vicks Vapor Rub.

6. Onion – Used in poultice to help with congestion and can prevent scurvy.

7. Catnip – Helps the body release heat from a fever and relaxes muscles and induces sleep.

8. Chamomile – Makes a calming tea and with other ingredients can be a soothing tonic.

9. Fennel Seeds – Helps with stomach upset, helps lower blood pressure, and treats respiratory issues.

10. Valerian Root – Has anti-inflammatory benefits, reduces stress, and calms anxiety.

*Please note, I am not a doctor and you shouldn’t try any of the above mentioned remedies without consulting your physician.

Hook: Lady Honor MacAllister can heal everything but a broken heart . . .

Blurb

Lady Honor does not believe in marriage. Her father’s death broke her mother’s spirit and took her from her daughters emotionally well before her own death. When Honor is attacked in the forest, she keeps the event to herself, lest her lairds search for the man and strike him down. As a healer, she’ll do anything it takes not to cause harm. Rumors of attacks in the Highlands forces the lairds to increase guards and security measures. When Bryce Calder is assigned to protect Lady Honor, she fights the burgeoning attraction for the man, knowing she’ll never risk her heart to love.

Warrior Bryce Calder trusts no woman. Women only strive to better themselves through cunning, as his father warned throughout his childhood. When he is asked to escort Lady Honor while she gathers healing herbs, he is vexed. Training the men and protecting the clan are his duties, not following the sharped-tongued lass about the wood. With each passing day, Bryce becomes enchanted by Lady Honor, despite his father’s words, but his unworthiness halts any proclamation of his desire.

An unlikely partnership develops during the frequent trips to the forest and work in the apothecary. The walls each has erected to protect their hearts and their future crumbles. Until a stranger arrives at the keep. Lady Honor’s secret is threatened to be revealed putting in jeopardy the growing romance between the ardent healer and the reluctant warrior-suitor.

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Author Bio

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They are busy with their 3 children and a puppy named Cannoli! They love to cook, go to the movies, and hang out with friends.

Where to find Madelyn…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon Page | Instagram


10 Characteristics of a Scottish Romance

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Madelyn Hill to the Power of 10 series. Today, Madelyn shares ten characteristics of a Scottish romance and her latest release, Highland Faith.

Here’s Madelyn!

Ahhh, Scotland! Just thinking of Scotland conjures up images of Highlanders, heather, and men in kilts. There seems to be a romanticism affiliated with Scotland that I’m sure if the people of Scotland laugh at our perception.

Here are the TOP 10 Characteristics of Scottish Romances:

1. A man in a kilt! Let’s face it, a kilt is a skirt and you have to have enough self-confidence to pull that off. A true Highlander has a certain swagger—cocksure stride when wearing a kilt. It lends to the romantic view of the story and we get a peek at those muscle-bound legs!

2. Sweeping Romance! While this rings true for other romances, the sweeping romance of a Scottish romance seems to be enhanced by setting and tragic history.

3. Setting! As I mentioned above, Scottish romances have a setting that can be a character in itself. Castles, Keeps, and the Highlands really set the scene and allow for wonderful description and adventures. The untamed landscape allows for many romantic encounters and daring rescues.

4. Romantic! A Scottish Moor or a mysterious castle can lend to the romance of the story. Add the sensual burr of a Scotsman and now we’re talking. A hero who is strong and loyal, but also has a soft heart and would do anything for those he loved.

5. Characters We Fall In Love With! I think everyone has become smitten with Sam Heughan as Jamie in Outlander. The loyalty, sensuality, and humor of his character has made their way into our hearts. Jamie is ready to protect those he loves or die trying. While the story can be intense, there are those humorous snippets or those sensual moments when he woos us out of our corsets!

6. Strong Heroines! A Scottish lass is strong, can wield a weapon, and gives the hero a run for his money. They are loyal, feisty, and ready to fight for what they believe in.

7. Politics! Scottish politics and their tragic history can be an alluring part of a story when used for motivation and conflict. A Scotsman or Scottish lass fighting against the English is a worthy hero indeed.

8. The Accent! Who doesn’t melt when they hear that Scottish burr whispering sweet nothings in your ear? There is just something so damn sexy about a Scottish accent that I wish Siri could be set on Scotsman!

9. The Highlands! I know I’ve mentioned setting a few times, but something as majestic as the Highlands should get a category of their own. Harsh, picturesque and filled with lochs, heather, Highlanders (obviously) the Highlands can be very romantic.

10. Mystery! There is much romanticism about Scotland, but how much is true? Think of Outlander and Braveheart, we have overlooked some of the veracity of these stories and embraced the romance of the characters. And with the Celtic and Druid history of the isle, there is much mystery to make romantic fodder for any novel.

Blurb

Huntress Lady Faith MacAlister seeks adventure. Her father’s dying pledge tethers her to Wild Thistle Keep, thwarting her desire to explore the world beyond the palisade. Solace is found while hunting and providing sustenance for her clan. When snatched from the safety of MacAlister lands by a rogue bent on securing a ransom, she finds the adventure of her life.

Disgraced Captain Graeme Ross travels the high seas in search of bounty to sell in order to secure lands seized by the Crown. He longs to regain his honor in his father’s eyes and continually risks his life on the high seas. Lacking enough funds, Graeme and his crew follow Lady Faith MacAlister as she hunts. Out of need and desire, he kidnaps her. The lady captivates him for the moment he laid eyes upon her. Bold and spirited, she fights him. When he negotiates a ransom, deception tears the burgeoning romance apart.

Now, Lady Faith and Captain Ross seek to settle those differences hindering their union, despite the stretch of land and sea—and angry Highlanders standing between them.

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Bio

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading!

Where to find Madelyn…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Pinterest


Spotlight on Highland Hope


I’m happy to feature Madelyn’s Hill’s new release…

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Blurb

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

Excerpt

She sighed and set her free hand at her waist. “We need to find my sister, not stand her havering.”

Sadness and worry flitted in her gaze. Heartache over her mother he assumed and mayhap a wayward sister. The grief seemed to consume her as they walked and Aidan loathed to see a sad woman—even if it was Laird Hope MacAlister. If she started crying he’d certain flee, for nothing was worse than consoling a woman in tears. But he doubted she’d show such vulnerability to him.

She glanced toward the other caves and then back toward the keep. She gave a frustrated sigh. Her face soft with desperation to find her sister.

She was worried and inside she was fretting and he knew only one way to take a woman’s mind off her troubles.

He stepped toward her and swept her in his arms. Her eyes widened as he descended, slowly so not to make her skittish, but with enough purpose she knew his desire. Her lips parted and her tongue darted out quickly to wet the plump surface. His lips brushed against hers with a soft caress. She gripped his arms and pushed. He kissed her again, slanting his mouth over hers. She stiffened, then her fingers dug into his biceps as her lips relented, accepted his kiss. As a moan escaped her lips, masculine triumph flared and he delved deeper. A sizzling leap of lust cursed through him. God, she felt good in his arms. Aidan ripped his mouth from hers and narrowed his gaze. His chest heaved. His blood sang. Through hooded eyes, he watched her and inhaled the womanly scent about her. Hope’s face was flushed, her eyes glazed. Aidan reached for her again.

With a flick of her wrist, a dirk appeared from its sheath and pressed against his ribs. “You touch me again, and you’re a dead man.”

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Bio

Madelyn Promo-Photo (2)Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading.

To celebrate the release of Highland Hope, Madelyn is offering two $10 Amazon gift cards. Enter the giveaway here.

Where to find Madelyn…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Spotlight on Heather in the Mist

I’m happy to feature Madelyn Hill’s new release…

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Blurb

Forced to wed to save her clan, Lady Rogan Cameron agrees to wed without love.

What her father doesn’t know is Lady Rogan has plans of her own—plans to keep her from a loveless marriage. Can she save the clan before she has to say “I do?”

Ian Albright abolished all ties to Scotland after his family betrayed him and he is now nursing a wounded ego due to an unfaithful fiancée. He pledges never to return to his home until the fateful day he accepts an invitation to his dear cousin’s wedding. The minute he sees his cousin’s betrothed, his heart is captured. If only she didn’t belong to another . . .

Lady Rogan and Ian have known each other since they were young and bent on vexing each other. Now, the only thing they find vexing is the fact Rogan is betrothed to another. Together they fight their growing attraction while investigating the forces bedeviling the clan. Yet at every turn their foe appears and wreaks havoc. When tragedy strikes, their hopes are dashed again.

Can Lady Rogan and Ian’s love win when fate seems determined to keep them apart?

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Bio

Madelyn Promo-Photo (2)Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!

A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading!

Where to find Madelyn…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Spotlight on Madelyn Hill

I am happy to feature Soul Mate author Madelyn Hill and her latest release For the Love of a Gypsy.

Here’s Madelyn!

madelynhillI’ve always had a love of reading and writing, as I suspect all writers do. But in my opinion, those who actually sit down and write their story have something else. Writing is a need, an instinct in which we have to share our story or else we may go mad. I’m sure this is where the term “muse” came from, that inner voice that whispers our stories and encourages us to get them on paper.

I started writing at a young age, short stories of teenage angst. But my serious writing started after the birth of my children when I needed something just for myself, something that was mine. I’d gained inspiration in many ways, but the book Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon inspired me to start writing Scottish historicals. Historicals are truly my favorite genre to read and write. I love research and digging and digging for information and tidbits that can enhance and direct a story. Also, there is just something so romantic about Highlanders and those rogues of historical novels.

As many writers do, we seek out others like us. Almost like we are a herd that is stronger together. A local romance writers group was where I felt as if I could talk about my stories and everyone understood. It was invigorating and in a way liberating. I became actively involved and made so many great friends, friends I would have never encountered outside the group. We had a great time and traveled to conferences, held conferences, facilitated workshops, and ran contests.

I can’t tell you how much I learned during this time period. When I first started, I had no idea about POV, agents, publishing houses, and submitting. But through critique groups, workshops, and conferences, the writing process and world came to light.

When I went back to school after my youngest entered kindergarten, my writing time became limited, but no less sacred. I cut out any unnecessary time sucks and expenses. I didn’t write in a silo, I still had an awesome critique partner and with social networking, writing friends are a few clicks away.

During this time, I didn’t send to publishers, holding back for some reason and then due to the encouragement of my critique partner I sent to Soul Mate Publishing. I have loved working with SMP and I hope to continue publishing with them far into the future.

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Blurb

Can she betray the Gypsy clan who saved her for the love of a stranger?

Martine Petrulengo is stifled by the traditions of her adopted Gypsy clan. They gave her new life when she was left all alone. And now she is expected to marry in order to forge clan allegiances. When she nurses handsome and charming Lord Declan Forrester back to health, she is lured by the seductive idea of life outside of the clan—and the prospect of love with the Irishman.

Can he prove his innocence in order to claim his Gypsy?

Lord Declan Forrester trades prison bars for a loveless marriage in order to save his soul. And now he’s trying to prove his innocence not only as a traitor, but that of his wife’s murder. When the lovely and beguiling Martine saves him, he falls in love for the first time. Yet, the obstacles of his past seem insurmountable.

Martine and Declan must fight tradition, prejudice and the haunting ghosts of their past in order to fight for their love and ensure their future.

Excerpt

A rider urged his horse forward. He wore a leather doublet of a quality she’d never seen. The black hide was pierced with metal and thick stitching formed elaborate Celtic designs. Regal and rich. His breeches hugged his thighs so closely ’twas indecent, but that didn’t stop her gaze from venturing along the hard expanse of his legs. Heat crept up her neck and flushed her face like a flame.

He tipped his head in her brother’s direction. Martine gasped.

The stranger from the glen.

“We’ve business,” was all he said.

Rafe nodded, but didn’t twitch a muscle. Martine wanted to run from the confrontation, hide in her grandmother’s berth safe from the bewitching blue eyes of the intruder. But her feet stayed rooted to the ground.

Och, this man was handsome. Strong jaw, brilliant eyes, and a broad mouth composed a man so striking. His face was a composite of hard planes of granite that matched the intense glare of his eyes.

The man sighed and his comrades inched closer to his side. They dressed as he did, except their clothing lacked the obvious quality she could see stitched in the leather of his.

“The villagers are concerned with your presence, Gypsy.”

She could feel the tension in the tight line of her brother’s shoulders, taste the anger in the air that hummed about him and the stranger. His jaw clenched and he remained silent.

“I’ve come to ask you to leave.”

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Bio

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier! A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They now have 3 children and keep busy cooking, watching their children’s sporting events, and of course reading!

Where to find Madelyn…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads