Friday, March 11, 2016

HOT FOR THE SCOT


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Excerpt from HOT FOR THE SCOT

A month. An entire month on my own, exploring a country I had read about and dreamed about. It wasn’t going to be difficult to watch my calories on this trip. The bacon and eggs and toast we served ourselves from the buffet were unexceptional. But I drew the line at baked beans before noon. Although I made myself taste a tiny bite of haggis—after all, what was the point of travel if not to expand one’s horizons?—I spit it into my napkin. Sheep organs mixed with oatmeal? Who the heck thought that was a good idea?

As we finished our meal, McKenzie reached into her turquoise Kate Spade tote. “Pick one,” she said.

With a nod from McKenzie, we unwrapped our gifts. Inside, I found a small oval box, perhaps two or three inches across and an inch deep. The lid was inscribed with Celtic symbols.

“It’s beautiful,” I said.

Willow stared at hers. “This is an antique, Mac. Must have been wickedly expensive.”
McKenzie waved a hand. “They’re snuff boxes. I found them on E-Bay. Sterling silver and ram’s horn. Aren’t they cool? Even women dipped tobacco back in the day.”
I ran a finger over the engraving on mine. “I love it. But I know you don’t expect me to take up dipping.”

“Of course not. These are for us to collect mementos. Anything that touches our souls or stirs our imaginations. Little bits and pieces to remind us of our trip so that in the weeks and months to come, we can open the boxes and remember Scotland.”

“It’s a lovely idea,” I said. And it was. McKenzie had a romantic heart, in the largest meaning of that word. She made everything in life seem like an adventure.

Willow nodded. “Thanks, McKenzie. I have no idea what I’ll find, but I’ll keep my eyes open.”
A short time later, we stood out on the walk, huddled beneath an overhang. McKenzie had ordered a cab to take her to the car rental place. After that she would be on her way to Skye, where she was renting a small house for the month.

Willow and I clutched bus schedules in our hands. She had made arrangements to stay in the general Inverness area but in a youth hostel. I was headed south for a village on the shores of Loch Ness.

 “Be safe,” I said.

Willow nodded. “And don’t do anything stupid.”

The cab pulled up at the curb. McKenzie gave the driver a dazzling smile as he loaded her bags into the trunk. Before she stepped into the car, she looked over her shoulder at us. “Remember Claire,” she said. “Be brave.”

And then she was gone.

Across the street at the bus stop, the 107 pulled up. “That’s me,” Willow said. She grabbed up her backpack and suitcase.

I hugged her awkwardly, feeling my last lifeline slipping away. “Take care of yourself.”
“You, too.”

And then I was on my own.

HOT FOR THE SCOT

In Janice Maynard’s sweet and sexy new series, three childhood friends with a shared passion for the Outlander novels and TV show decide to travel to Scotland looking for adventure—and their very own Highland heroes…

It’s a dream come true for schoolteacher Hayley Smith. No homework to grade, no students to corral, no social media, Internet or cell phone…just a month amid the heather and rolling hills around Inverness. A brawny alpha male in a kilt is probably too much to ask for. But Hayley is in heaven ambling around Loch Ness, gazing and then…falling into the icy water, before being rescued by a strong, chivalrous local hero…

Retired soccer star Angus Munro, aka Angus the Angler, is a little insulted and a whole lot intrigued when Hayley doesn’t recognize him. How long has it been since anyone saw beyond his wealth and fame? And how long before the macho athlete and his modern-day American damsel in distress act on an attraction that could make even the misty Scottish moors sizzle with heat? Long enough, maybe, for both to figure out if this is an affair to remember…or the start of something everlasting…


Author bio:
USA Today bestselling author Janice Maynard knew she loved books and writing by the time she was eight years old. But it took multiple rejections and many years of trying before she sold her first three novels. After teaching kindergarten and second grade for a number of years, Janice took a leap of faith and quit her day job. Since then she has written and sold over thirty-five books and novellas.

During a recent trip to Scotland, Janice enjoyed getting to know the “motherland”. Her grandfather’s parents emigrated from the home of bagpipes, heather, and kilts. Janice lives in east Tennessee with her husband, Charles. They love hiking, traveling, and spending time with family.

Hearing from readers is one of the best perks of the job! 


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