Paperback: 372 pages
Shawn Kleiner has it all: money, fame, a skyrocketing career as an international musical phenomenon, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants—until the night Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a Scottish castle tower.
He wakes up to find himself mistaken for Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior. Soon after, he is sent shimmying down a wind-torn castle wall into a dangerous cross country trek with Niall’s tempting, but knife-wielding fiancee. They are pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor who want Niall dead.
Thrown forward in time, Niall learns history’s horrifying account of his own death, and of the Scots’ slaughter at Bannockburn. Undaunted, he navigates the roiled waters of Shawn’s life—pregnant girlfriend, amorous fans, enemies, and gambling debts—seeking a way to leap back across time to save his people, especially his beloved Allene. His growing fondness for Shawn’s life brings him face to face with his own weakness and teaches him the true meaning of faith.
Blue Bells of Scotland is both a historical adventure and a tale of redemption that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned.
Guest Post from Laura Vosika
The Irish Scottish Connection
By Laura Vosika
For hundreds of years, the Highlands of Scotland shared more culture with Ireland, across the water, than with England, on its southern border. For 18 months in the early 14th Century, Ireland even had Edward Bruce, brother of the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, as its High King.
Like the best stories, it all started long ago, and far away. Of course, that’s relative. For those who lived in ancient Ireland, the story was neither long ago, nor far away. At the end of the 2nd Century, there lived an Irish prince, Cairbre Righfada, who distinguished himself in battle. In reward, he was given what is now County Antrim, Ireland, and the Argylshire area of Scotland, both of which he named Dalriada. The Picts of Scotland, however, were powerful, so Cairbre Righfada and his descendants remained in Antrim for another two hundred years. In the 500’s, his descendants, Loam and Fergus, became the first kings of the Scottish Dalriada. Fergus’s descendant, Kenneth MacAlpin, united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century to become the first king of all Scotland.
Through these years and beyond, thanks to their common history, the two countries shared a great deal. Even the name Scots derives from scoti, the Roman name for the Irish people, which Fergus and Loam brought with them. The languages of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, although distinct today, both derived from Middle Irish. The music of harp and bagpipes, the myths and legends, and forms of dress were all similar in the Highlands and Ireland. Even their saints passed freely from one country to another: Columba and Fillan, two of the great Scottish saints, were both Irish, while some say St. Patrick, the most famous saint of Ireland, was born in Scotland. Family trees stretched their branches wide across the Irish Sea.
The line of Cairbre Righfada continued more than a thousand years, to Scotland’s Alexander III. It is his death, in 1286, that precipitated the Wars of Independence, and brought Robert Bruce, King of Scots, a descendant of the great Irish king Brian Boru and the kings of Leinster, back to his Irish roots.
In 1314, Robert the Bruce led Scotland to resounding victory over England’s might at Bannockburn, yet Edward II of England continued to hold Scottish castles and assert his right to rule. Like Scotland, Ireland had long suffered English occupation. The Ulster chiefs, encouraged by Bruce’s success at Bannockburn, and regarding the Bruces as part of their own nation, thanks to their heritage, invited Edward Bruce to lead them against the English and become king of Ireland.
With such strong familial and cultural ties, it is no wonder the Bruces attempted to unite militarily against their common oppressor. Bruce wrote to the Irish kings: Whereas we...share the same national ancestry and are urged to come together more eagerly and joyfully in friendship by a common language and by common custom, we have sent you our beloved kinsman...to negotiate with you in our name about permanently strengthening and maintaining inviolate the special friendship between us and you, so that with God's will our nation (nostra nacio, referring to Scotland and Ireland as one nation) may be able to recover her ancient liberty.
In May 1315, Edward Bruce sailed to Ireland with 6,000 men, landing on the coast of Antrim from which his ancestors had come. After a year of successful battles, he was crowned High King in May 1316. However, the Irish chiefs beyond Ulster were not so enthusiastic about Edward Bruce. They regarded the situation not as military unity, but as a Scots invasion, not so different from English occupation. In October 1318, Edward’s brief kingship ended with his death in the Battle of Faughart. Robert Bruce never returned to Scotland, and Ireland never again had a High King.
Ironically, or maybe not, considering the long history of shared culture, Ireland’s last High King was a Scot.
Laura Vosika grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast.
She earned a degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, music teacher, band director, and instructor in private music lessons on harp, piano, winds, and brass.
Laura is the mother of 7 boys and 2 girls, and lives in Minnesota.
Her latest book is Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy.
You can visit her website at http://www.bluebellstrilogy.com/
Read the Excerpt!
“Give me the car keys.” Amy thrust her hand out.
“You didn’t get your international license. You can’t drive.”
Shawn laughed, digging in the pocket of his baggy, medieval trews. “I know you, Amy. You won’t jaywalk on a deserted street. I paid good money for this meal. I’ll be out when I’m done.” He flipped the keys at her, much harder than necessary.
She caught them in a neat overhand. “I will expect my grandmother’s ring back as promised,” she said in clipped tones, “or I will cause so much trouble in every possible corner of your life, you’ll wish you’d never thought up that idiotic story about tinagle connectors.” She threw the tartan down at him.
“I didn’t make….”
“Stuff it, Shawn. I saw Jim while I was waiting in the lobby. He almost died laughing, said there’s no such thing on a trombone. Thanks for humiliating me, on top of it. Maybe some day you’ll come clean about what you needed—make that wanted—the money for.”
“Hey, that’s not fair!” He jumped to his feet. “I needed that money! There was this big Scot. He was coming with his friends to beat the living daylights out of me!”
“Did you sleep with his wife? You probably deserved to be beaten to a pulp.” She shoved past him, glaring back from the arched doorway at the top of the stairwell. “I cannot believe I’ve stayed with you this long!” She spun on her heel. Her voice floated back up from the dark staircase. “I cannot believe I kept thinking there was something better in you!” He ran to the western wall to see her emerge from the tower into the courtyard. Mist swirled around her ankles. “Everybody told me there was nothing better there!” she shouted up at him.
“Bull!” he shouted back, leaning over the tower. “They love me!”
“You have no idea what they say behind your back,” Amy yelled. “Selfish, self-centered, obnoxious, loud! They’re just afraid of your temper. Arrogant!” She turned and stormed across the courtyard, tearing through tendrils of mist grabbing at her legs.
“I am not loud!” he bellowed.
Video from YouTube
I love a good time travel story and The Blue Bells of Scotland is a very good story.
Shawn Kleiner is a rock star, rude, demanding, and loves to chase and bed the groupies. Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior who is being pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor who want Niall dead. So somehow Shawn is sent to the past in Nialls time and Niall is thrust forward into the future and finds out what happens to him in the past. Once the story sets up it is a fast read. Shawn finds out that he has led a pretty useless life and comes to realize the mistakes he has made and works at rectifying that. Niall accepts what has happened to him in the past but also learns to deal with the mess that is Shawns life. Shawn needs to find out who the traitor is that wants him dead and learn to cope in a past that is pretty primitive and not what he is used to and learns what love is about.
Blue Bells of Scotland is a historical/contempory novel at the same time filled with Scottish history and I look forward to read more in this great trilogy. A very enjoyable read.
I received a copy of this book from Pump up your Book and I was not monetarily compensated for my review.
Thanks to Dorothy at Pump up your Books, I have a copy of this great book for giveaway.
To enter: Open to U.S. entrants only ENDS OCTOBER 31ST, 2010
* Be a follower of either of CelticLadys Reviews or Blog O'The Irish.
* Leave a way on your comment where I can get in touch with you if you win.
* Blog, Tweet or Facebook this giveaway, whichever you prefer.
That's it..good luck!!!