Nancy Lee Badger: Roseanne asked me here, today, to interview one of the characters found in my latest romantic fantasy, DRAGON IN THE MIST. With me is Rory Hawthorn. Welcome, Professor Hawthorn.
Rory: Please. Call me Rory. I get enough of ‘Professor’ at the university. I prefer walking around various countries, alone.
Nancy: Alone? Sounds…lonely.
Rory: It is, but I do better with my…research when alone. Walking along Loch Ness is very interesting, and with the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, I sure don’t feel alone.
Nancy: You’re a believer in Celtic legends? Some say the Loch Ness Monster is a wingless dragon. However, I heard you are visiting Scotland to research their history of earthquakes. Scotland has dragons AND earthquakes?
Rory: Sure they have earthquakes, but I am still on-the-fence about dragons. I’m a scientist, remember. I want proof. Researching earthquakes, though, is a clever ruse. (he winks) It’s not actually why I’m here. I told my family and friends that, so I could research something a bit more exciting. A curse.
Nancy: Wow! Tell me more! I can keep a secret (crossing my fingers)
Rory: My family was cursed long ago by a strange woman. Since then, no MacDonald has kept the love of a woman. We can fall in love, but she eventually leaves. Like my Mom left us. Something tells me I am close to breaking the curse.
Nancy: Have you ever been in love?
Nancy: You are very quick to admit that. Hmmm. Have you met anyone interesting since arriving in Scotland?
Rory: I did meet an interesting woman.
Nancy: Are you blushing? What’s her name?
Rory: Nessía. She works at the pub near Urquhart Castle. Her hair is the color of a glass of Scotland’s finest whisky. Her eyes are ice blue, and she has the cutest smile…when I can get her to smile.
Nancy: Sounds like love.
Rory: Nothing’s impossible, but I have to break the curse, first, while keeping those other women away.
Nancy: Suzie and Kendra? Yes, I heard they are clingy. I hear they are staying at the same inn as you. Didn’t they follow you when you toured Castle Urquhart? I bet Nessía wasn’t too thrilled watching them fawn all over you.
Rory: She saw that? I’m in the doghouse now. I better think of something nice to do for her…or to her…and head over to the pub. Maybe I can make her smile with my kisses.
Nancy: (sighs) Good luck!
Life without love is not worth living.
Nessía of the Loch has lived beneath the murky water of Loch Ness since ancient times. The pain of loneliness manifests in anger so strong, the entire valley shakes with earthquakes. In 1816, a Faerie queen pleads for her to cease the tremors and rewards Nessía with a human form. To stay human, she must find love. When the man she believes she loves casts her aside, Nessía responds to the betrayal by cursing the men of the MacDonald clan with the inability to keep a woman’s love. Only an act of true selflessness will break the curse.
After centuries pass, Nessía again searches for love. When Rory Hawthorn, an American scientist, arrives under the pretext of researching the earthquakes but in reality to research his MacDonald heritage and the curse, she believes she has found the perfect mate.
Amid stolen kisses, another earthquake, a steamy night of passion, and a broken heart, Nessía returns to the murky depths of the loch. When Rory dives in to follow her, he meets the green, scaly Loch Ness Monster. Assuming Nessía is in danger, he is intent on killing the monster and saving the woman he loves.
The day wore on and Nessía carried a basket of fresh-baked bread to the inn. The same inn where she had spent several blissful hours in the arms of a man. A man she was falling in love with.
The truth startled her, and a linen-wrapped loaf fell from the basket. Nessía crouched outside the flower-covered fence that surrounded the inn. She froze when she heard familiar voices. One voice belonged to Rory Hawthorn.
“Ladies, I must stop in my room.”
“We’ll come with you,” the redhead cooed, like a lovesick cow. “Tell us more about your search for your MacDonald ancestors.”
The MacDonalds? Rory is related to that bastard Monty? And why would Rory be in the company of those women? As Americans, she supposed they held a certain homesick charm, but he had told Nessía he would not stop into the pub for lunch. He had work to do. In fact, he claimed he planned to work along the northern shore of Loch Ness all day.
What I am hearing does not sound like work. Far from it.
Nessía peeked over the fence, but all three had disappeared inside the inn. Standing, she brushed dirt from her dress’s hem, then scurried to the inn’s backdoor. With her delivery complete, she swung the basket in a wide arc, desperately in want of smashing it over a certain gentleman’s head.
A MacDonald? Damnation!
Her heart ripped apart as she stamped her feet. Her dragon strength surged and the earth beneath her feet shook. Birds took to the skies and screeched, as they flew away across the loch. Stacked timber near the dock gave way beneath the tremors, and fell into the water. A boat in dry-dock slipped off its scaffolds and crashed on its side. Screams echoed from the inn and the two American females ran into the street.
Nessía closed her eyes and took several deep, cleansing breaths. Collecting herself, she urged the trembling to stop. When it did, she strode toward the pub.
She forced her feet to keep moving away from the inn, but two strong arms circled her shoulders. Rory turned her until she faced him. She refused to glance up. He cupped her chin, forced her head up, and she gazed into eyes filled with concern. And…love?
Silly dragon. Ye are a powerful, earthquake- causing creature. Forget him. Nessía found it hard to believe her own thoughts, especially when his mouth crushed hers in a brutal, yet passionate kiss.
About the Author
Nancy loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. Nancy lives the dream. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She and her family continue to volunteer at the New Hampshire Highland Games each fall. Nancy is a member of RWA, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Sisters In Crime, FF&P Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. She also writes romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea.
Check out her website www.nancyleebadger.com
and her blog www.RescuingRomance.nancyleebadger.com.
Follow her on Twitter @NLBadger
and on Facebook http://on.fb.me/scmtx5
Title: DRAGON IN THE MIST
Author: Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Length: 17,000 words
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/pzEYYh
In celebration of my recent birthday, I am giving a gift to one commenter. Actually, TWO GIFTS. One is a lovely SCOTLAND Bumper sticker, and the other is a gift certificate for any one of my e-books (6 to choose from!) Send an email with the word contest in the subject to: Nancy Badger