Monday, June 10, 2013

Devil Black

Today's special guest is Laura Strickland. Born and raised in Western New York, Laura has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. Embracing her mother's heritage, she pursued a lifelong interest in Celtic lore, legend, and music, all reflected in her writing. She has made pilgrimages to both Newfoundland and Scotland in the company of her daughter, but is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. She practices gratitude every day.


Disgraced in her father’s eyes, Isobel Maitland travels to Scotland, determined to purchase her sister’s happiness at the cost of her own.  But when her coach is held up and she is abducted by a dangerous highwayman, she faces an unexpected choice: suffer the loveless union to which she has resigned herself, or marry this ruthless, Scottish outlaw who can ignite her desire with a single touch.

They call him Diabhal Dubh – Devil Black – and he spends his days terrorizing the countryside, trying to outdistance the memories that torture him.  The King has decreed he must settle and take a wife.  And when he steals the alluring woman betrothed to his enemy, Dougal MacRae sees a way to both answer the King’s demand and obtain the revenge he has sought so long …


Dougal drank deep from his cup of raw whisky, savored the bite as the liquor went down his throat, and shrugged. “I say only the truth. And who are ‘they,’ who speak so ill of me?”

Lachlan raised thoughtful eyes to meet Dougal’s. Lachlan, Dougal admitted, looked mild and harmless, the bonny sort of man with whom the lassies might get up to dance at the parties to which Dougal himself no longer received invitations. Lachy’s honey-brown hair brushed the shoulders of the leather jerkin he wore, and his blue eyes looked almost serene in the dim candlelight.

"They," he said concisely, “are the neighbors you have been busy robbing these last eight years, the clans you have battled, the many women you have wronged, the very government of Scotland itself. They would hang you if they could.”

Dougal crooked a brow. “I cannot deny those charges.” Whatever else he might do, he strove always for honesty. “If these folk feel better for calling me by a foolish name, so be it."

“Do you not care?” Lachlan asked, only partly feigning his surprise. “I recall a time when you did.”

“Long ago—almost beyond memory.” Dougal slanted his gaze so the firelight reflected from his eyes in a fiendish manner. He knew he looked the part of a Black Devil, with the dark curls spilling down his neck and eyes so deeply grey they might as well be black.

He knew, too, what the clans folk whispered—that Satan himself had marked Dougal MacRae with the scar that marred his right cheek in the shape of a claw or talon.

Dougal alone knew the true origin of that scar, and he would not tell.


Laura will be awarding a $30 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press (email address needed with comments) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


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