I should be writing, but… I pour a cup of tea and scoot over to the window. Two bluebirds feed beetles to their brood in the wooden house attached to the garden fence. Sparrow babies cry to be fed from a nest in the prickly Rugosa rose bush. A titmouse grabs a sunflower seed as if the feeder is a drive through restaurant and flits off to a nearby tree to enjoy its treat. Finches jostle for position on the tube feeder. Mourning doves peck at the ground. A Carolina wren sings to his mate while the majestic cardinal sits on the fence observing his realm. All goes still when a hawk spirals overhead. The other day, two snowbirds (Juncos) arrived along with flurries on the wind; a sure sign winter is on its way. Many of the birds will fly south soon.
One of my guilty pleasures is to take a break in the afternoon and watch the birds enjoying the garden. Sometimes, birds end up in my stories. Wee tidbits—a touch of the natural world to make the tales more realistic.
–The pleasant trills and warbling of a lark serenaded them as they worked in silence, intent on their own thoughts.
–Seabirds soared over the waves, rose on updrafts then plummeted to the water to catch their prey.
–Flocks of birds fed among lush foliage, the flapping of wings and cries creating a noisy, chaotic orchestration.
–As they descended the ridge, Laurie raised her hand to shade her eyes from the bright sun. Her breath caught. The sight before her stole the air from her lungs. Cormorants flew over the water, dipping and diving, plunging into the sea in search of fish, surfacing moments later nearby. She even glimpsed a seal poking its whiskered nose out of the water for air.
–Patrick crept through the dense forest on silent feet. Braches slapped at him, scratching his skin. Hearing the screech of an owl and the flutter of wings nearby, he stood motionless. He peered into the dark. It pressed in on him, a heavy weight against his chest.
–Brushing the unwanted thought away, she giggled when a wren scampered across the ground in search of crumbs.
–She marched across the ridge, her hair blowing in the wind. A loud, rapid kek kek kek kek kek sounded before the whish of wings and the large bird landed on her outstretched arm.
“Trystan, you’ve returned to our mountain. I’m glad to see you, my friend.”
The peregrine falcon murmured close to Caitrina’s ear.
“Ah, you want to feel the sun on your face again. Aye, I imagine the northern tundra was verra cold.”
–Deer darted from their path as they rode along a meandering trail through the trees. Birds flew from thicket to thicket in advance of their approach. Duncan led, with Finn taking up the rear. She concentrated on her upcoming task, certain she’d locate the plants she sought near her brother’s hunting cottage.
Thanks ever so much, Babette, for having me on your blog today.
Now, a question for you all: What is your favorite bird? Might we find it mentioned in a romance novel?
Giveaway (US only): In celebration of the release of the print edition of Just Beyond the Garden Gate, one lucky commenter will receive a pre-release signed copy (paperback). Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you.
Highland Gardens Series Blurb: The Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time. On occasion, so do mere mortals. This is the setting for HIGHLAND GARDENS, a sexy time-travel romance series spiced with scheming faeries and one incredibly mischievous brownie. Journey from the lush gardens of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the Scottish Highlands of the early sixteenth century with Just Beyond the Garden Gate and Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon.
You can find Just Beyond the Garden Gate at:
You can find Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon at:
Bio: 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 of Southern Maryland with her husband.
You can find Dawn at:
Photo: Sparrow Babies – Dawn Marie Hamilton