award winning author, Celtic paranormal, excerpt, fantasy romance, guest post, Judith Sterling, Legend of the Yew Tree, Mary Morgan, new release, Order of the Dragon Knights, Scotland, The Wild Rose Press, To Weave a Highland Tapestry
My dear friend and sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press) Mary Morgan is here today! We’re celebrating her new release, To Weave a Highland Tapestry, and she’s written a wonderful guest post about the legend of the yew tree. Let’s read on…
In To Weave a Highland Tapestry, I considered it time to give the hero, Patrick MacFhearguis his own “happy ever after.” He’s been a huge secondary character since my first book and series, Dragon Knight’s Sword, Order of the Dragon Knights. I sensed he was brooding at his home in Scotland. What he needed was a wife and a purpose. In truth, he has been a favorite of mine since he stepped into the first story. I made his castle, Leòmhann, as the center of this love story, along with an ancient yew tree.
Allow me to take you back in time to ancient Scotland…
When the ancient MacFhearguis clan settled near the Great Glen in Scotland, the Chieftain wished to bless the land, and his castle known as Leòmhann—the lion. Druids came from far away, bestowing their approval over stone, land, and people. Afterwards, they took part in a grand feast. Drink and food overflowed in the Great Hall. The bards recounted the great tales. Minstrels played songs of past triumphs, and the dancing and feasting lasted for countless days.
However, another tale lay buried within the stone walls of Leòmhann and only those brave enough could relate the true account.
It was whispered there were those in the clan—weavers from an ancient order from the west—not happy with the Chieftain’s refusal to offer a gift to the Fae who had graced his land before him. He deemed their request foolish and banished these irritating women to the forest.
Saddened by this act from their Chieftain, the women grew concerned the Fae would not give their own blessing over this new land, leaving their people without a compassionate and wise leader. Regardless of his order to silence them, they sought another path to right this injustice.
Gathering around a bonfire on a moonlit Samhain eve, each woman brought with them one long golden thread from their looms. On a whispered prayer, they knotted them all together. Traveling deep into the forest far away from Leòmhann, they came upon a young yew tree. As they swayed softly, the women wrapped the knotted threads around the tree. After they were finished, they joined hands and sang out as one.
“Seasons will ebb and flow—battles shall be fought.
The loom of the land shall not see rebirth.
From left to right, the strands of time will knot and break.
Only when a weaver threads the true color on a winter full moon night, shall the land, stone, and clan be cleansed.”
Smiling, they embraced each other, deeming their prayer had been received by the Fae. As the leaves rustled beneath their feet, none of them ever fathomed that the true master weaver to claim the heart of a MacFhearguis would not appear for over eight hundred years.
And as the centuries passed, the legend of the Yew tree became more of a curse, and the land around Leòmhann suffered.
A little more about To Weave a Highland Tapestry:
Patrick MacFhearguis, hardened by battles won and lost, desires what he can never have—peace within his heart and soul. Yet, the ever-meddling Fae weave a new journey for him to conquer—a task this highlander is determined to resist.
When skilled weaver, Gwen Hywel, is commissioned to create a tapestry for the MacFhearguis clan, she embraces the assignment. While seeking out ideas, she finds herself clutching the one thread that can alter the tapestry of her life and heart.
A man conflicted by past deeds. A woman with no family of her own. Is it possible for love to unravel an ancient past, in order to claim two badly scarred hearts? Or will the light of hope be doused forever?
A peek between the pages:
His kiss was urgent, demanding. Patrick thrust his tongue into her soft heat. The air swirled in a tempest of passion as the kiss deepened. No longer caring if anyone came upon them, Patrick continued to feast on her mouth.
“How many kissing boughs have our wives placed in this castle?” asked Stephen.
“In every nook, stone, and chamber. I would not be surprised to find one in the stables or lists,” replied Duncan.
Stephen laughed. “By the hounds, I do love Midwinter.”
Gwen stiffened against Patrick. Placing a finger over her mouth, he waited for the conversation to fade before relaxing his stance and stepping back. Glancing over his shoulder, he watched as the men made their way into the feasting hall. Returning his attention to Gwen, he pulled her out of the alcove.
Her cheeks were stained a becoming pink, and full lips begged to be kissed again. Patrick raked a hand through his hair, doing his best to refrain from backing her inside the hidden enclosure again.
She giggled and stole a glance upward within the alcove. “Yes. We can blame it on the kissing boughs.”
He laughed nervously. “This is a first.”
“Are you confessing you’ve never kissed another under these boughs?”
Reaching for her hand, he caressed her fingers. “Never. Leòmhann has seen many a Midwinter feast, but no one dared to place these kissing boughs within the castle.”
She tilted her head to the side. Her joyful expression faded. “May I ask why?”
Once again, Patrick was reminded of the curse which surrounded his home. He looked down at her tiny hand. What could he offer Gwen? Why did he continue to pursue her without the promise of tomorrow? Should he confess all to her now?
She squeezed his hand. “If it’s too painful to talk about, I’ll understand. Let us enjoy this evening and not dwell on unhappy thoughts.”
Her words brought comfort to Patrick’s tortured spirit. Giving her a weak smile, he brought her hand into the crook of his arm. “Ye are correct. Let us welcome the light of Midwinter tonight.”
Patrick’s steps slowed as he guided them into the hall. The atmosphere was one of cheerfulness, laughter, and music. Greenery adorned the entire room—from wooden beams to tables. Children scurried past them in glee, and his heart leaped at the sight.
“My goodness. It’s beautiful,” observed Gwen, leaning against him. “And look, they’ve brought Meggie’s tapestry back inside the hall. The MacKays surely know how to celebrate.”
Within that moment, Patrick made a silent vow that one day he would see the same light enter his home. His heart soared at the possibility. With ye by my side, Gwen, I shall give ye this beauty.
Where to buy the book:
More about Mary:
Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.
If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.
Where to find her:
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/
AUDIBLE AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.audible.com/author/Mary-Morgan/B00KPE3NWI
Best of luck with the book, Mary! 🙂