|Wallace Statue at Stirling Castle|
Today is the anniversary of William Wallace's death. At his trial in 1305, he answered the charges against him:
I can not be a traitor, for I was never his subject ... if I or my soldiers have plundered or done injury to the houses or ministers of religion, I repent me of my sin; but it is not of Edward of England I shall ask pardon.
I was introduced to William Wallace in Mel Gibson's BRAVEHEART (I wasn't even reading romances at this time). Despite any historical inaccuracies, BRAVEHEART is an epic movie of an extraordinary man who lived and died for freedom. From BBC's History website,
On 11th September (1297), Wallace and Murray achieved a stunning victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. 'Commander of the Army of the Kingdom of Scotland’ - the outlaw Wallace was now knighted and made Guardian of Scotland in Balliol’s name at the forest kirk, at either Selkirk or Carluke. It was a remarkable achievement for a mere knight to hold power over the nobles of Scotland. In a medieval world obsessed with hierarchy, Wallace’s extraordinary military success catapulted him to the top of the social ladder.
|Stirling Bridge with the Wallace Monument in|
700 years later to the date, the Scottish people voted for their own Parliament to administer Alba's government. Wallace would have been proud.
Between 1297 and 1997, the Scotland continued to battle England over borders and sovereignty. One problem plagued both crowns - monarchs died without heirs. When Queen Elizabeth I died, the English throne passed to her second cousin King James VI of Scotland. Had he held court in Edinburgh, history would have been different (although blood probably would have still shed). Instead, King James held court in London and his descendants became entangled into English politics. His son, Charles I, married a Catholic princess, reigniting religious suspicions too soon after the Tudor Era. Charles I also challenged Parliament about his divine rule, leading to the English Civil War. After Charles I was beheaded, his family fled to Catholic France. During the Restoration, Charles II returned to the throne. But the peace would soon be short lived when his Catholic brother becomes James II.
Enter Paula Quinn's CHILDREN OF THE MIST series. From Paula's website,
Welcome to the passion and intrigue of medieval Scotland, where men are warriors and lasses know how to tame them. It is 1685. King Charles II is dead and his brother James, Duke of York is about to be crowned the new King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Knowing the importance of a Highland showing of support at the new king's coronation, Callum MacGregor takes his kin on a journey to England and into her courts, aged with danger and the beginnings of civil unrest. He has no idea that he is leading his four bairns toward destinies that will forever change their lives. The Children of the Mist series covers the four unique paths taken by The Laird of the Mist's children.
In Book 1, RAVISHED BY A HIGHLANDER his firstborn son, Rob is cast on a road to hellfire to rescue a lass crafted of stardust and secrets. Secrets that will threaten everything and everyone he holds dear and force him to choose between duty and love.
In Book 2, SEDUCED BY A HIGHLANDER, prodigal son, Tristan will travel a road of forbidden love that will spark an old feud between the MacGregors and the Fergussons, and remind a rogue that he is really a knight in shining armor.
In Book 3, TAMED BY A HIGHLANDER, the path set for Callum's only daughter, Mairi MacGregor is paved with danger and childhood love gone sour. It is a path that will put to the test everything her heart truly desires, and lead a king to battle.
In Book 4, CONQUERED BY A HIGHLANDER, the final path of that fateful journey to England will lure the mighty laird's youngest son, Colin into a life of duplicity as a Jacobite spy who infiltrates the English court of his enemy, and falls in love with his enemy's cousin (coming soon).
Paula reintroduces us to the Wallace spirit in the MacGregors - Highlanders who will fight for family and freedom. In honor of William Wallace's legacy, I am giving away the published books in the Children of the Mist series - RAVISHED BY A HIGHLANDER, SEDUCED BY A HIGHLANDER, and TAMED BY A HIGHLANDER. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about a freedom fighter you admire.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, August 27, 10 pm. I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 28.
Kim in Hawaii
Continue the celebration of William Wallace's legacy at my guest post with the Reading Reviewer - I spotlight Maya Banks' IN BED WITH A HIGHLANDER at this link.