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At first sight the castle of Australian Andrew McAllister’s Scottish family looks forbidding. He and his PA, Liz, soon discover secrets the dilapidated castle has held well. Swept back in time a thousand years, to an often hostile world, they are forced to fight for their survival. Among passions and violence they discover untapped strengths in themselves and a love to last forever.
Suddenly the door opened wide.
They blinked as light streamed in. Before them a wide staircase led down to a cavernous hall. Immense, soot-laden beams held up a ceiling of what appeared to be tightly packed straw, and the walls were timber pylons reinforced with mud or clay.
A fire roared in a fireplace large enough to roast a whole cow. Two large, soot-encrusted pots containing what smelt like some sort of stew hung over the fire. Peat blocks were stacked up at one side of the hearth and enough wood to keep a fire going for a week was piled up on the other side.
People sat around on stools or rough wooden benches. It was impossible to estimate at first glance how many there were. Everyone stopped talking at once, and a sudden eerie silence filled the hall as they all gazed up at Liz and Andrew.
Liz crumpled in a heap at Andrew’s feet.
“Liz, for heaven’s sake!” Andrew went down on his haunches beside her, pulling her into his arms. The boy who’d opened the door stood with his mouth agape, staring at them as if they were apparitions.
A giant of a man slowly lifted himself from one of two throne-like chairs that flanked the fireplace and, taking the steps two at a time came to tower over them, uttering words Andrew couldn’t understand.
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to speak English.” Andrew wondered how he’d managed to get the words out as, picking Liz up, he went down the stairs and looked about for a soft place to set her down. The man followed him, then faced Andrew, his hand on a deadly looking dagger-type weapon that was thrust through his belt.
The only likely place Andrew could put Liz was on a wide bench. It didn’t look much more comfortable than the floor, which was strewn with heather, and some sort of stems and rushes. After Andrew set Liz down he glanced up. The man’s scowl was ferocious as he scratched at his dark head.
His mass of thick, black wavy hair reached past his shoulders, and he had a beard that was just as black. He babbled on in the same strange tongue, and the rest of the crowd began to mutter and whisper, moving closer and doing little to disguise their almost childlike curiosity.
They were dressed in an odd assortment of clothing. Andrew had never seen anything quite like it. The men wore a sort of kilt without pleats. They all had leggings or bindings around their calves. Some, including the giant, wore shirts, others a sort of sleeveless vest. Most of the women had ankle-length, long-sleeved, shift-like dresses on, belted at the waist. The children, even the boys, wore similar shifts to their knees, tied about the middle with cords or leather thongs. None of the children wore shoes, but the adults all wore soft leather moccasin-type slippers.
A tall, graceful woman rose from the other high-backed chair.
Liz stirred, opening her eyes, muttering, “He wants to know what the blazes we’re doing in his home. He seems to suspect we’re more spies sent by some enemy or other. A guy named MacGriers. And he thinks you’re my bodyguard.” She giggled. Andrew sensed a touch of hysteria in her laughter. This certainly wasn’t amusing. “He’s telling the tall woman with the grey hair that you’re an odd-looking sort. He’s wondering where you got such fine footwear and that skirted garment. He can’t make out your trousers. He reckons they’re like nothing he’s seen before.”
“How the bloody hell can you understand him? I can’t.” Andrew glared at the man, whose strange kilt had a large clump of gathered material flung over one shoulder. The garment was cinched at the waist by a belt with a buckle that bore a design similar to the one on the cape Liz still had draped round her shoulders.
I have this fascination for a handsome Scot in a kilt, and have no idea where it stems from--perhaps from my Scottish forebears? One of my brothers joined a Highland regiment although we were Londoners, and I know he wore a magnificent tartan kilt for regimental occasions. My Highland Love was one of my most enjoyable writing tasks, as I loved returning to the past and meeting up with Travis again. I fall in love with all of my heroes of course, but Travis holds a special place in my heart. Could one of my past lives have been spent with such a man? Maybe that’s why I couldn’t resist the urge to return to that period
“Designing Heart flows smoothly, quickly and easily as Tricia McGill delivers passion, warmth and strong family values in this fresh romance that touches your heart. This book is an emotionally satisfying read. Designing Heart is Tricia McGill’s sixth published novel.” --Jan Springer, Love Through A Stranger’s Eyes Wings ePress; August 2002
“Designing Heart is a must read for all romance lovers. The antics of Georgie and the consequent effects her actions have on Stefan, found this reader riding the emotional roller coaster of heart-stopping romance and gut busting laughter. Truly a book you can’t put down.” --Susan R. Sweet, “A Deadly Agent” Wings ePress; September 2002
“In DESIGNING HEARTS, Tricia McGill has created a story with a charming spirited heroine, a virile masterful hero, delightful supporting characters, and a thoroughly satisfying finish. Her familiarity with the fashion industry is evident. This is the first Tricia McGill book I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. I highly recommend it if you want a good read.” Fran Keighley, Burnout, Bed Breakfast And Beware, Renegade, and Monster In The Moat, Wings ePress
"AMARYLLIS is a strong outer space romance starring two delightful star-crossed lovers (literal and figurative). The story line is loaded with earthly and solar action. Tricia McGill provides readers with a cogent romantic science fiction that is sure to gain her fans from both genres." -- Harriet Klausner
Designing Heart -- " Tricia McGill’s delightful tale has all the key ingredients of a true romance: the characters are real, the conflict is believable and she delivers the type of ending that all romance lovers hope for." Romantic Times-Dec 02 by Faith V. Smith ****½ stars
"Thoroughly entertaining, UNTIL ETERNITY will provide enjoyment for those readers interested in time travel romance and historical detail of the early centuries of British history."-- Astrid Kinn--Romance Reviews Today
"AUTUMN FIRE is an unforgettable love story that I didn’t want to end and when it did, I wanted to start reading it again. Tess Barrett is a wonderful heroine who has to regain her self-esteem and learn to love again. Jack Donovan is a man sure of what he wants and doesn’t mind using everything in his power to get it."-- Hattie Boyd for Word Museum
"LOOK INTO YOUR HEART is a wonderfully written love story. This romantic situation takes place in Australia and the flavor of the dialogue is most captivating. With each new sentence being spoken by the characters, I found myself caught in an enchanting whirlwind of hearing their charming voices. It was an endearing quality which I enjoyed so much. Tricia McGill has the precise recipe for romance and intrigue all within the pages of this expertly written novel." -- Patti Fleishman--In The Library Reviews
“A charming country setting, some cheeky kids, two amusing dogs, and a cast of other secondary characters help to build the romantic tension to a crescendo. A Lonely Heart tenderly builds up a romance between a man with a chip on his shoulder and the woman destined to win his heart. It’s a pure and gentle romance that will surely please the romance genre purists, along with just about any other romance fan out there.” -- 4 angels from Sarah W at Fallen Angel reviews. A Lonely Heart—Oct 06
"Irresistible Challenge is a most enjoyable read. With refreshing characters and a well-written storyline the reader is immediately drawn into a family at odds with each other. . .
. . . make this one irresistible read with emotions that dance through the pages. This is a story that this reader thoroughly enjoyed and comes highly recommended." -- 5 angels from Linda L --Fallen Angel Reviews. Irresistible Challenge—July 06
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 320
Paper Weight (lb): 13.4
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