|Author Suzan Tisdale|
As a writer of historical romance, or more specifically, Scottish historical romance, I do a lot of research. There are a few famous, and not so famous, Scottish women who played some vital or important role in shaping history. Much is written about the famous Mary Queen of Scots, but I prefer to look at those who are less famous but just as important.
Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdaleis, (1680 to 1749) is one of my favorite Scottish women! She and her husband --William Maxwell -- were Jacobite rebels. He was captured at the Battle of Preston and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Winifred loved her husband so much that when he was captured, she smuggled him out of the Tower by dressing him up as a woman! The cloak she used to help disguise him remains in the family to this day.
Mary Slessor born in 1848 in Aberdeen. Mary grew up in a life of poverty, one of seven children. When she was 25 she became a missionary to Africa. Mary is known for helping to stop ‘twin-murders’ that so often took place in the remote parts of Africa. If a mother gave birth to twins, it was thought that an evil spirit had fathered one of the twins, so both were killed and the mother shunned. Mary ended up adopting 12 of these ‘twin’s. She lived most of her adult life in Africa, living in a mud hut among the people she sought so passionately to help.
Flora MacDonald is another favorite of mine. She is infamously known for helping Bonnie Prince Charles escape from Isel of Uist to Skye in 1746 by disguising him as her Irish maid, Betty Burke. They rowed their way to Skye, avoiding capture along the way. Eventually the prince was able to find his way to France. Flora and her husband lived in the American colonies for several years. After her husband was captured, she returned to Scotland and later her husband was released and able to join her there.
Mary Seton, one of the “Four Marys” who attended to Mary Queen of Scots for many years, including the time the queen was held captive in England. Mary Seton was often called by her last name, Seton. After the battle of Carberry Hill, Seton accompanied the queen back to Endinburgh. At one point in history, after the battle of Langside, Seton helped her queen escape from an island fortress by standing at the window dressed in the queen’s clothes while the queen fled in a small boat. After many years of service to the queen, Mary Seton became a nun. She died in 1615 at a convent in France.
As I write this, I begin to see a theme. All of my favorite Scottish women were famous for helping someone escape from something. Whether it was helping a royal evade capture or saving the lives of innocent children, all of these women took great risks to help someone in need. These were women who could think fast and improvise when needed.
I’m reminded of a more current saying: Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels! These women did these things in full-length dresses and petticoats! ;o)
Suzan lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband and the last of their four children-a 14 year old, 6"3’, built like a linebacker son. Suzan and her husband are currently accepting monetary donations to help both feed and keep their son in shoes.
They live in a quiet little hamlet where the only traffic jams occur in the very early morning hours when they must wait for the wild deer and turkey to cross the road.
In her distinctive voice, Suzan combines history, romance, and adventure to create epic tales filled with Highlanders, intrigue, romance, and laughter. Her first novel, Laiden's Daughter, Book One in her Clan MacDougall Series, was released December 2011, and has been on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers List since February 2012.
Laiden's Daughter takes place in the Highlands of Scotland, 1344. Betrayed by lies told before her birth, Aishlinn is raised by a harsh and cruel stepfather. Her life is forever changed one horrifying night when she is forced to flee England for the safety of the Scottish Highlands. Rescued by a fierce band of highland warriors, Aishlinn soon learns that honorable men do exist. She finds a strength she never knew she possessed and it will be tested to the limits when she is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision…allow the English to kill those she loves, or surrender for the crime she committed.
Our hero, fierce highland warrior, Duncan McEwan, has survived numerous battles, bed countless women, and survived a horrific storm at sea. He has scaled mountains and even survived hand-to-claw battle with a cat-o’mountain. But none of that could have prepared him for how his life forever changed one fateful spring day when he rescued a lass from a freezing stream. He will do anything to keep her as his own and will risk everything to keep her out of the hands of the English.
Continuing where Laiden's Daughter left off, we have the tale of Findley's Lass. When Findley McKenna returns after his battle with the English to offer Maggy Boyle a home amongst his clan, he finds only death and destruction instead of the young widow who has stolen his heart. The only things left of her home are the burned out hut and decaying bodies of the auld people Maggy has taken care of for the past three years. With only a prayer, his Highlander heart, and a bit of bloodied plaid to cling to, Findley will crawl through hell if he must, in order to find Maggy and her sons and avenge the massacre before him. She had won his heart without trying, and he can only pray for the chance to give her his.
Maggy has secrets, and her own hell to crawl through, before she can give her trust or heart to any man. Fearful that the uncle of her late husband will force her into a marriage with another cold and vindictive man, she goes into hiding to keep her true identity secret and her adopted sons together. After her home is destroyed and her young son kidnapped, those secrets begin to unravel, one agonizing thread at a time. How can she place her trust or her heart in the hands of a man she barely knows and still maintain her freedom and keep her secrets hidden? Findley McKenna is her last vestige of hope at keeping both.
Suzan is currently working on Book Three of her series, Wee William's Woman. It is set for release in the Summer of 2013.
"There is great joy in writing, but the biggest joy comes in sharing what you've written" Suzan Tisdale
You can find Suzan here!
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