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It’s Festival Time – Scottish Highland Games – Guest Post by Dawn Marie Hamilton

I’m delighted to welcome fellow Celtic Hearts member Dawn Marie Hamilton as she introduces her new Scottish historical time travel romance, Just Beyond the Garden Gate. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win in Dawn’s giveaway!

It’s Festival Time – Scottish Highland Games

I so enjoy Scottish festivals. That’s why, when I researched locations for one of the settings in my Scottish historical time travel, Just Beyond the Garden Gate, I chose a place—fictitious—close to one of my favorite events. I fashioned the town of Anderson Creek near Grandfather Mountain, NC, and created some quirky Scottish characters to live there.

In the United States, it’s festival time most of the year. There are events all over the country from which to choose. Just to mention a few…

January starts the festival year with the Central Florida Highland Games. In February, the Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games & Festival. March brings the Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games. In April, I attend a local event, the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival. May brings the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games. In June, it’s the Milwaukee Highland Games. My favorite event is the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering O’ Scottish Clans in July. I think you get the idea.

Circle of PipesWhat goes on at festivals? Clan tents, music and dance, highland athletics, whisky tastings, historical reenactors, storytelling, sheepdog demonstrations, and much more.

To find a Scottish festival near you, visit The Association of Scottish Games and Festivals (ASGF).

Thank you, Babette, for having me on your blog today.

Now, a question for you all: Have you attended a Scottish gathering? What was your favorite activity?

A Giveaway! A $5 Starbucks e-gift card to one lucky commenter.

A second chance to win! Stop by Dawn Marie Hamilton Writes on the full moon, May 25th, for an e-book giveaway of Just Beyond the Garden Gate.

Scottish historical romance, time travel romance, romanceJust Beyond the Garden Gate, A Highland Gardens Novel


Determined to regain her royal status, a banished faerie princess accepts a challenge from the High-Queen of the Fae to unite an unlikely couple while the clan brownie attempts to thwart her.

Passion ignites when a faerie-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard through the garden gate, back through time, and into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn’t know what to make of the lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch she wears as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared.

With the fae interfering at every opportunity, the couple must learn to trust one another while they battle an enemy clan, expose a traitor within their midst and discover the true fate of the missing parents. Can they learn the most important truth—love transcends time?


 Laurie opened her eyes a crack. Her head pounded, her pulse raced. This wasn’t good. Those couldn’t be two, huge, leather-clad feet inches from her face.

She opened her eyes wider. Raised her gaze higher.

Those feet—the ones that couldn’t be there—was it possible they were attached to two muscular calves wrapped in soft napped animal skins?

Higher still. Bare knees. Plaid wool and saffron linen.

Farther up, she took in all of the man who towered over her. Piercing blue eyes blinked. Crinkles appeared in the corners. He was grinning. Not outwardly. The perfectly shaped lips remained tight and straight, but something within this gorgeous man was pleased.

She gasped with recognition. This was her man, the one from her heated dreams and visions. The man she didn’t believe existed. The man who made her insides flip-flop.

Unsure what had just happened, she gave her head a firm shake. Mistake. Dizziness hit in waves. She swallowed hard. When the nausea passed, she pushed her palms against the ground and rose to her feet. Unsteady, she swayed. The stranger’s image blurred.

Large calloused hands gripped her arms. A strange though familiar jolt of energy coursed through her, causing her heart to beat too fast.

He quickly released her. He must have felt it too.

Again, she swayed. She reached for his support at the same time he took hold of her upper arms.

She blinked to clear her vision and moistened dry lips. The flash of desire in his eyes made her shiver. He smiled for real this time, leaned forward, placed a hand behind her head, and brushed her lips with his. Gentle at first, then with vigor, his tongue delved into her mouth.

Instinct insisted she struggle. Holding her body rigid, she fisted her hands, which he’d trapped within his embrace. She forced her fingers open and pressed her palms against his hard chest—a vain attempt to push him away.

The current flowing between them became overpoweringly seductive. No man had made her feel this way before. For several moments, she wavered between fighting him—a familiar stranger—and succumbing to the delicious sensations swamping her. He deepened the kiss, and the internal battle ended. Desire won. She clasped hold of the front of his shirt with shaky hands and kissed him back with pent-up passion.

Satiny lips anchored her in a storm of unfamiliar sensation. Pleasure vibrated along her body. She opened her eyes a slit. The intensity of the man’s shocking kiss matched the masculine power burning in his startling blue eyes.

His grip tightened. His fingers burned through her clothing, searing her skin. She closed misty eyes and sank into the reality of her dream lover’s embrace.

Scottish Historical Romance, Time Travel Romance, RomanceBio:

Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks with her husband.

You can find Dawn at: 




Amazon Author Page:

You can find Just Beyond the Garden Gate at:

17 thoughts on “It’s Festival Time – Scottish Highland Games – Guest Post by Dawn Marie Hamilton”

  1. Such an interesting post, Dawn. I’ve never attended a Scottish festival (done a few Irish ones) but they’re on my list of things I want to do. I love the history, the music, and the lore. And I can’t wait to see how you’ve woven them into your “Garden Gate!” Congrats on the release, and all the best with your Highland Gardens series.

  2. Love those Highland games! Someday, I plan to attend the Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. Lovely cover and plot. Good luck!
    Nancy Lee Badger

  3. Interesting post. The mountains in N.C. have many residents with Scottish ancestors. It’s said that when the Scots came to the US, they settled in NC because it reminded them of their homeland and the Highlands in Scotland. I have visited both areas, N.C. and Scotland’s highlands, and can attest that they look alike. Good luck on your books.

    1. Hi, Ruby! Thanks for the good luck wishes. To quote a Scottish character from the book in reference to the Blue Ridge, “This place reminds us of our homeland with its rowan trees and thistles and frequent mists.” 🙂

  4. Your book sounds fabulous – faeries, time travel, Scotland – what could be better? I have yet to attend a Scottish gathering. It’s one of those someday-when-I-have-some-free-time activities (not to mention a trip to Scotland). Thanks for the post!

  5. My husband and I stumbled upon a Scottish Festival almost two years ago, in Columbus, Indiana. We had SO much fun! I took pictures of the Bonniest Knees Contest to send to my mother, who had great fun with the concept! The Scottish Highlands are on my short list of places I want to see. Your book sounds awesome! 🙂

    1. Wow! I opened my email this morning and found the notification of the Starbucks gift card! What a lovely surprise!!! Thank you so much, Dawn Marie! I feel like I’ve been sprinkled with sparkly faerie dust. 🙂

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