Friday, April 1, 2011
I can't think of anything I'd rather do today than a little time-travel that would get me out of my office and...maybe into some Scottish countryside. Where I might stumble upon an imperious (but tortured) sexy black-haired Scottish laird--or he stumbles upon me because I'm clumsy and have fallen off an embankment. Much adventure and romance will ensue. But then he finds my iPod and...well, you'll just have to wait and see. Today, I'm talking about The Return of Black Douglas by Elaine Coffman, which is being released today.
I'll have Elaine Coffman on the blog later this month but in the meantime I'd like to talk about the book. When Elaine is here we'll talk about the relationship between this book and The Bride of Black Douglas, which came out a number of years ago. But The Return of Black Douglas is a self-contained read--no prior knowledge necessary.
I approached The Return of Black Douglas with excitement, first because most of the book takes place in 16th-century Scotland and Elaine Coffman is known for her exacting research into period detail. Second, I wanted to read the book because a few years ago while doing family genealogical research, I traced my roots back to Clan Douglas of Lanarkshire, Scotland, so Sir James Douglas, the 13th-century knight known as Black Douglas, would be like my forty-zilliointh great uncle or something like that. And I have not only Douglas blood in these veins but Sandilands, another clan affiliated with Clan Douglas--and a double dose of that Scottish DNA because I'm from Alabama and, well, my ggg-grandfather and ggg-grandmother were, indeed, cousins. It could explain a lot.
Black Douglas is a ghost of himself in this book (literally--a ghost) but a mischievous one who takes pity on his 21st-century forty-zillionth great-granddaughter who's just been jilted by her fiance. He sends her and her twin sister (the practical one) back to the 16th century. They get caught up in a clan feud between the Mackinnons and their nearest clan neighbors, and our poor modern girls become pawns in the battle.
This is a delightfully fun read. The period detail is fascinating, the characters likeable, and there's a nicely simmering attraction between modern American Isobella Douglas and her savior/captor Alysandir Mackinnon.
Want to win your own copy of The Return of Black Douglas? Just tell me what time period and place you'd travel to if you could (and if you don't win this week I'll give another away when Elaine is here later in April). I will have to choose 13th-century Scotland during the reign of my ancestor Robert the Bruce, aka King Robert I, who was a bit of a sniveler in the movie "Braveheart" but did step up at the end. (Bit of useless family trivia: Mel Gibson, before he went nuts, also played in another movie of one of my ancestors, Fletcher Christian of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.)
You know the routine: +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, +1 for Tweet or RT of this contest. Hit the road and time-travel!