I’m delighted to welcome Cathie Dunn to my blog today. Cathie’s fabulous historical romances are amongst my favourite books, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about the themes of her latest novel…
Thank you for hosting me today, Jo. I’m delighted to be featured on your blog, and in such great company!
So, keeping in topic of your Thursday Themes, here’s a bit of extra detail about my new novel, A Highland Captive, a Scottish historical romantic adventure.
My novels are usually set during times of political upheaval, and A Highland Captive is no different. Set during the Scottish Wars of Independence, a time of a lawless land where you didn’t know who to trust, and where allegiances changed with the direction of the wind.
The year is 1298, and the Scots had just lost the battle at Falkirk. William Wallace had fled into hiding, the Scottish king had been deposed, and King Edward I of England claimed overlordship of Scotland. Scottish nobles were divided in their loyalties, as many owned lands on both sides of the border. In short, a dangerous mess!
Isobel de Moray is the daughter of a knight who was killed in a skirmish following the battle. Thinking herself safe in her keep on the shores of Loch Ness, she is shocked when her home is invaded by mercenaries who are abducting her so she would marry an English lord. Abductions like these happened often where heiresses were suddenly without parents or protectors. With no king to appoint a guardian and no father to defend her, Cailean MacDubhgaill, a young knight who was with her father when he died, goes in search of her and – in turn – abducts her on her enforced journey south and takes her to his home, on a tiny island off the Scottish west coast, for her safety.
But Isobel is from a noble Scottish family – and whilst her character is fictional, the de Morays were indeed influential in the northern Highlands – so her family connection makes her certain that her distant relatives, one of whom was just appointed as a joint Guardian of Scotland, will rush to her aid. Therefore, she is not exactly thrilled about poor Cailean’s well-meaning intervention…
“Ms Dunn brings the era to life.” 1298 Scotland Cailean MacDubhgaill, a knight from a small western island fighting for the Scottish cause, joins the battle at Falkirk but is wounded when he takes a blow to the thigh by an axe. Sir Eòin de Moray, uncle to his late friend, the former guardian, Andrew, helps him escape the carnage and takes him into a nearby forest, but is killed whilst fighting off pursuers.
Once Cailean has recovered from his injuries with the help of the healer Brìde, he rushes to de Moray’s manor on the northern shores of Loch Ness to convey the news to de Moray’s daughter, Isobel, but he is too late. He finds the manor burnt down, its people displaced, and Isobel abducted. Determined to honour the knight who had saved his life, he tracks Isobel down. Finding herself taken away from her home against her will, to be married off to an English lord in service to King Edward I, Isobel de Moray ponders her fate when a nighttime raid on the mercenary camp sees her freed – only to fall into the hands of a strong-minded knight. The stranger takes her to his keep on the remote island of Eorsa, to keep her safe. But Isobel has other ideas…
Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction and romantic adventure. Cathie has been writing for many years. She studied Creative Writing at Lancaster University, with a focus on novel writing, which she now teaches in the south of France, and she loves researching history, delving into books and visiting castles and historic sites. At the moment, Cathie is working on two novels: a time-slip paranormal romance set in the Languedoc in southern France, in the present and the days of Charlemagne’s reign just prior to AD800, and the sequel to Dark Deceit. Cathie’s stories have garnered praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.