Blood Feuds and Border Raids in 16th Century Scotland
Thunder on the Moor
Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched—to say the least—especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth century Scottish home with her in tow.
Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.
Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.
To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?
With a sudden jolt, she woke, the predawn tranquility shattered by a distant rumble. Maggie sprang up, her eyes widening as she recognized the thunderous beat of hooves rising from beyond the ridge. Behind her, about five hundred yards away, pressed against the graying sky, stood her uncle’s tower. He’d warned her about venturing from the safety of its walls, but she’d been too stubborn to take his words to heart. Perhaps she should have put her dislike of the man aside just this once.
Frantic visions of vengeful reivers sprang to mind, and she rose, determined to make a sprint for the distant peel tower. With the creak of leather armor already echoing in her ears, she struggled to gain purchase on the dew-covered ground, but she slipped and fell into the tall grass of the gentle slope.
Pushing herself up, she chanced a glance over her shoulder and froze. He was nearly upon her, his steel-blue eyes reflecting the mood of the moor. A wave of terror washed over her, for somehow she knew this time Will Foster wouldn’t turn and ride away.
She slumped back on her elbows, unable to move, the world around her fading into obscurity. Riders rode by on their way to the tower, their images blurred and distorted, for nothing could pry her attention from Will or the amulet he wore around his neck. He paused a few feet from where she’d fallen, tugging hard on the reins, hunger burning in his gaze.
Maggie swallowed hard, anger and fear lodged in her breast. She tried to embrace the former, but it was tempered by a sudden desire that caused her thighs to quiver and her mouth to long for the touch of the striking young reiver before her.
Will nudged his horse closer, the fire in his eyes intensifying, and this time fear surged to the fore, jarring Maggie back to her senses. No matter how handsome he may appear, he remained at heart a murdering barbarian, his intentions all too clear. Digging her heels into the soft earth, she pushed herself into an upright position and started running for the tower.
Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Soceity.