Flash Back Friday – The MacNicol Clan Through Time

MacNicolBooksFor the last four weeks I’ve been posting excerpts from the books in my first series, The MacNicol Clan Through Time. Looking back at this series, here’s a summary of the various stories, their heroes and heroines, and how they all fit together.

Book 1  introduces the series with a look at the legend of Herrick and Sophie, an early MacNicol clan chief and the fae princess who healed his heart. Every great love has a great beginning. She’s a princess of the fae. He’s destined to become chief of his clan. How on earth can they ever be together?

Book 2 jumps forward a couple of generations to bring Teressa, a woman from present-day California, to the medieval world of Rory MacNicol in Scotland on the Isle of Skye.
Magic took her back in time to unite a lair with his lady.
Is magic strong enough to unite Teressa with her own true love?

Next, in Book 3 my dear readers get to meet Teressa’s brother, Daniel as another time-traveler makes their mark on the historic clan.  A modern urban cowboy is swept back to 13th century Scotland where he must take control of his destiny and fight for the woman he loves.

And finally, in Book 4, we see Daniel’s daughter, living in modern times, showing how past lives can sometimes come back to haunt us.  It’ll take a special kind of magic, and a whole lot of forgiveness, to bring these ill-fated lovers together again.

While my ‘history’ of the MacNicol clan is in no way intended to be accurate, I did draw from the clan’s rich history when writing these books. The MacNicol clan did once reside on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Their lands were absorbed by the MacLeods of Lewis through the marriage of a MacNeacail heiress. And there was a history of disputes between the MacNicols and the MacDonalds. But as any imaginative writer would, I took these basic elements and wove them into a fanciful narrative of my own making.

It would be my great pleasure for you to read and enjoy the saga of the MacNicol Clan Through Time. Blessings, and enjoy always, T

Magical Musings Monday – Great Expectations

buddhaExpectations, great and small, good lord, it seems we have them all. Did you know that expectations are the number one cause of all pain and suffering? If you don’t believe me, just ask Buddha.

You might have thought that stress was the number one cause of pain, and you’d be right. But let me ask you: What causes stress?
Answer: Expectations.
Usually it’s the expectations we place on ourselves, but just as often it’s the ones we believe the outside world places upon us.

What causes fear? Same answer: Expectations. It’s the expectation that something bad is going to happen. What that “bad” thing may be is up to you.

What causes sadness? Doggone-it, it’s those pesky expectations again. What is sadness but the fear and worry that you don’t have everything you want or need? You may think your sadness is caused by loss, say the loss of a loved one like a spouse, child, family member or dear friend, or the loss of a job or home, the list goes on and on. What you’re really sad about is that your expectations are no longer being fulfilled. It’s only because you believe and expect you should have these experiences, such as the continued presence of a loved one, that you become sad when the experience changes.

Still not buying it? Let me show you an example. What if you KNEW beyond any doubts that your beloved was always with you and you could always feel their love as you wished. Anytime, all the time, you were aware of their love. Sounds good, right?  No reason to be sad. You get up in the morning and you each go your separate ways. You’re not together, but you’re not sad. You know you’ll see your beloved at the end of the day. You love them, they love you, it’s all good.

Then they have to go away on a trip, for whatever reason. You might be a little sad that you won’t be seeing them every night. Where does that sadness come from? From the preconceived expectation that you should see them every night, that you need to see them every night. But your sadness isn’t too bad, you know you’ll see them again in a couple of days. There’s no love lost.

Imagine if you could stretch this time out to a few weeks, a month, even years, and the results were the same. Sadness is caused by expectations for certain results or experiences that you want to achieve or avoid.  How deeply you experience sadness will be based on how deeply you expected certain results.

Usually, sadness will fade over time as we adjust our expectations to become more in alignment with what we’re actually experiencing. Except, so often we create new expectations for new experiences and the cycle begins again.

Okay, now here’s the punch line. WHAT IF you could love without expectations? Ohmygod, you think, not possible. I agree, we all have expectations, great and small. But if you could love without expectations – then what? ? ?  You tell me. It could be interesting.

 

Flash Back Friday – A Time To Forgive

Using the WayBack Machine, let’s revisit one of my previously released books. Here’s a short excerpt from Book 4 of the MacNicol Clan Through Time series – A Time To Forgive.

Flash Back FridayBree stopped to observe her visitor. The rider had already dismounted from his bike and was removing his helmet, a sleek black orb with a tinted face plate that when worn would obscure his features.

Still standing in the shadow of the doorway, she watched as he set the helmet on the seat of his bike and ran his fingers through his dark auburn hair, releasing his disheveled curls from the dreaded curse of helmet hair. His profile revealed a strong, nearly straight nose, bold cheekbones, and a well-formed jaw.

Bree watched a moment longer as the man unzipped his black leather jacket and tucked his shirt into his faded black jeans. The tight fit of his dark tee shirt revealed the type of rock hard muscles that came from long hours of hard work. He was one nice-looking man.

After she finished checking out the man, she checked out his bike, a sleek black-and-gray Ducati Multistrada. The model looked to be a few years old, but the Italian motorcycle was in mint condition. He obviously took good care of his toys. His Ducati was one nice-looking bike.

She judged her visitor to be in his late twenties, maybe six or seven years older than her. When he started to walk toward the front of the ranch house, Bree stepped out into the bright sunlight and shouted, “Can I help you?”

The man turned with a startled jerk. Squinting, he reached a hand up to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun. “Sorry, I didn’t see you standing there.”

“Looking for someone?”

“Yeah, Breanna Ellers. Know where I can find her?”

Bree walked forward to greet him. “I’m Breanna Ellers.”

The man fished a card from his back pocket and looked it over, then looked back at her. “You’re Breanna Ellers, the animal trainer?”

“Yeah, that’s me,” she confirmed. He was holding one of the business cards her cousin Jack had designed for her and insisted on handing out to everyone he met. Jack also had a habit of leaving them at every pet and feed store in the area, which meant this guy could be anyone.

The MacNicol Clan Through Time, Book 4

A Time To Forgive, The MacNicol Clan Through Time, Book 4

Magical Musings Monday – Love is all there is.

children-walkingSimple doesn’t mean easy or without value. It’s a simple thing to say “Love is all there is.” It’s not necessarily an easy thing to understand. It’s even harder to try to explain. Explanations have a tendency to muddy the beautiful and crystal clear truth of simple messages.

So, let me repeat, Love is all there is. Everything else is fear and all its deceptive disguises. The masks we wear are deceptive disguises. We all wear them. But sometimes we drop the masks long enough to see the love come shining through.

When we practice dropping our masks, magical things can happen. IF we keep practicing, over and over, eventually we become less dependent on our masks until we eliminate them altogether.

With practice comes perfection. With practice we no longer need to hide behind a false facade. If I love myself, I can love you too.

Practice, practice, practice. We all have to start somewhere. No one was born knowing how to dance, or even walk for that matter. But we all were born with the potential.  We all had to learn and we all did. (Walking, I mean, not dancing. Some of us are still learning how to dance.)

With practice comes experience. With experience comes knowing. And let me tell you folks, what I know for sure, Love is all there is.

Enjoy always, T

Flash Back Friday – A Time To Belong

Using the WayBack Machine, let’s revisit one of my previously released books. Here’s a short excerpt from Book 3 of the MacNicol Clan Through Time series – A Time To Belong.

Flash Back Friday2Enjoy . . . alway

Daniel found himself on a plane sitting next to his sister and brother-in-law, questioning his choices as they headed toward the Atlantic coast on their way to Glasgow. It wasn’t as though he didn’t like to see new places. He had traveled up and down the West Coast with his dad visiting horse shows, and had been to Canada and Mexico, but this was the first time he’d be leaving the North American continent. Honestly, he found the prospect of a long transatlantic flight to be a bit unnerving. Knowing they would be spending the next few hours flying over miles of ocean before they reached land again was not in his comfort zone, he wondered how he had let his conniving little sister talk him into this adventure.

Dinner had been served, and the cabin lights were dimmed to encourage the passengers to sleep or rest quietly. Daniel figured it made the long hours of the flight a lot easier on the passengers and flight attendants, but it hardly helped to quell his anxiety. He was uncomfortably aware of his seatmates as he tried not to fidget, but hell, a body wasn’t meant to sit still in one place for so long, and it was his bad luck to have ended up with the window seat.

Robert and Teressa were already sleeping, curled up under their airline-issued blankets. Apparently, they were okay with the long overnight trip, but Daniel was finding it much harder to settle in. The journey was long, and the large plane was nearly full for the nonstop flight. He was grateful Teressa and Robert had used their frequent-flyer miles to upgrade to roomier seats, but the space was still cramped for his six-foot-three-inch frame. And instead of being a soothing white noise, the hum of the engines created an annoying vibrating buzz in his ears.

He wanted to get up and stretch his legs, but he didn’t want to disturb Teressa and Robert, so he sat and stared out the small oval window into the reflective blackness of the nighttime sky, regretting his misfortune of getting stuck with the inside seat. When they were boarding, he had agreed to let Robert take the aisle seat, always being the nice guy, and as he knew, nice guys always finished last. He glanced again at Teressa, his younger sister, happily married to the man of her dreams, and knew he was definitely finishing last. He was the last unmarried sibling and the last one still at home.

Daniel sat in the dim light cast by the overhead reading lamp, wondering what he could do to get some sleep, or at least relax enough to forget he was thirty thousand feet above endless ocean. Maybe not exactly endless ocean, but close enough.

He searched the seat back pocket in front of him and flipped through the airline’s in-flight magazine. It was beyond boring and of no use for his insomnia. Looking over at the seat back pocket in front of Teressa, he noticed her travel journal poking halfway out. She’d been writing in it earlier. When he had asked her about the journal, she had explained she had started the travel journal during her first trip to the Isle of Skye. With each succeeding trip, she planned to add to the journal, creating a memoir of her travels to Scotland.

Daniel didn’t usually go snooping into his sister’s personal stuff, but since she hadn’t seemed particularly secretive when she had told him about her journal, he figured she wouldn’t mind. Hopefully, it would tell him about the places they planned to visit, and perhaps provide a little insight into his sister’s opinions on their intended destination. With hardly a second thought, he reached for his sister’s journal, flipped it open, and started reading.

A few hours later, and several disbelieving glances at the two people sleeping next to him, he wasn’t sure if he had read a credible account of an incredible journey, or if his sister was a fantastic storyteller. . . . . He didn’t know what to think of his sister’s story except that it was simply unbelievable. Interesting, but unbelievable. He’d give her credit on one count: she and Robert seemed made for each other. Whether it was because they were soulmates across time or just lucky in love, he couldn’t say, but they certainly seemed to belong together.

With a final shake of his head, Daniel tucked Teressa’s journal back into the seat pocket in front of her and switched off his overhead light. It was time to close his eyes and rest even if he couldn’t sleep. As he reached to close the shade of the little oval window next to him, he paused a moment and gazed out into the early morning sky.

The glow of the rising sun rushing to meet the eastward-flying plane was just beginning to leak above the horizon. A lone star still shone bright in his limited view of the vast endless sky. It occurred to him that this single star, shining alone in the vastness of space, had spent eons shining its light out into the cosmos, always existing exactly where it was meant to be. In a moment of honest confession, he softly whispered, “I wish I knew where I belong.”

He dropped the shade, closed his eyes, and laid his head back to relax. A soft breeze danced across his forehead. Just before he unexpectedly fell into a deep and peaceful sleep, he heard a woman’s voice softly whisper, “A wish expressed, a favor bestowed.”

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