Saturday, October 24, 2009

Book Review - "Child of the Mist"


by Kathleen Morgan

This is the first book in These Highland Hills series. Child of the Mist was hard for me to put down. I loved the conflict and attraction between the hero, Niall Campbell, and the heroine, Anne MacGregor. Her father pledges her hand in marriage after a one year commitment to seal the promise of peace between their clans. But Niall's people believe her to be a witch with her herbal healing powers, and he must constantly strive to protect her and work with his people to accept her, while trying to discover who in his clan is a betrayer. They both must strengthen their faith and learn to trust each other to overcome their struggles and fear.

The story is intriguing and keeps one reading to find out what will happen next. The emotional appeal between the characters gives the reader a chance to experience their world. The writing and dialogue gives the reader a sense of 1564 Scotland. If you enjoy a Scottish historical novel, I highly recommend Child of the Mist.

Back Cover Copy:
An arranged betrothal was never the course Anne MacGregor imagined her life would take. Yet when her father explains that her cooperation is the only way to bring about the long-sought truce between feuding families, Anne has no other choice.

A simple ceremony pledging Anne's hand in marriage after one year of commitment is the only seal to the promise of peace. But when the arrangement requires the reluctant Anne to follow Niall Campbell back to his home, she soon discovers that peace is not so easily achieved. Before they even arrive, rumors about her abound, and her safety is threatened. Meanwhile, Niall's ascension as leader of his clan is in jeopardy as a traitor works to bring about his downfall.

As Niall and Anne began to see beyond each other's defenses, love takes them by surprise. But will it be enough to defeat their foes? Or will the truce be broken, their lives forfeit, and war return to their beloved land?

For more about the book and the author, Kathleen Morgan, visit her website here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Handfasting

Handfasting is an old Celtic custom whereby a couple agreed to live together for a period of time, whether it be one year and a day, or a lifetime. If it was to be a temporary arrangement, after the end of that period, they may wed or part ways. It's a NeoPagan ritual that is no longer recognized as a legal marriage in England, Wales or Ireland, but is still considered a legal Pagan wedding in Scotland.

As Christianity was adopted into the ancient Celtic lands, many couples chose to have a combined wedding of their Christian beliefs with some of the Handfasting traditions.

There are many rituals that are part of the ancient Handfasting Ceremony, but one that I've read about often is the minister ties a strip of cloth around the couple's hands. If it is a temporary agreement, it will be loosely tied. If they have a permanent agreement, it will be tied tighter, thus the expression, "tie the knot". The couple will then kiss each other as their first gift to each other. The bride does not necessarily wear a traditional white bridal gown.