Selkie Lovers & Other Scottish Myths
Part of the fun of writing historical romance is the research. Not only do I study the art, music, architecture, politics, manners, religions and fashions of the time period in which I set my stories, I also research the way people thought about themselves and their world. Which usually brings me to their legends and lore. Scotland teems with tales of mythical creatures.
Here’s a scene from Plaid to the Bone in which Cait Grant explains selkies to Adam Cameron:
“A selkie is a magical creature, ye ken. Sometimes he’s a seal and sometimes a man. When he walks on two legs he’s said to be verra fine to look upon,” Cait said. “And a selkie husband is much to be desired because he’s always kind to his human wife.”
Adam wondered if her churlishness toward him was due to fear. A woman couldn’t count on kindness from a husband. Well, he could dispel that notion for her. Theirs might not be a love match, but he’d never mistreat her. “And did ye ever meet a selkie in that special bay of yours?”
“No. The old tales say all a maid has to do is weep seven tears into the sea and it will call one, but it didna work.” Cait shook her head slowly. “For all the times the brine made my eyes water, I ought to have had a dozen selkie men tripping over their flippers to find me.”
Adam crossed to the fireplace and retrieved the kettle that was filled with boiling water. Then he returned to the bath. The bubbles parted in some places and her pale flesh wavered beneath the surface, but she’d strategically wrapped an arm across her breasts and the other hand shielded her sex.
“Dinna move,” he said. “I dinna wish to scald ye.”
He tipped the kettle and poured a stream of steaming water into the bath, near, but not too near, the dimpled knee that broke the surface of the water like a small island rising from a foamy sea.
She sighed as the water temperature rose. “Thank ye. That’s kindly done.”
“Weel, I canna be outdone by a seal for kindness now, can I?”
“Ye’d do well not to aspire to the life of a selkie husband,” she said. “The tales always end badly. His wife has to hide his sealskin, ye see, so he willna return to the sea, but invariably, he always finds it and has to leave. They canna bide together long.”
My blog guest today is the always engaging, New York Times bestselling Carolyn Brown. She writes hot cowboys, in both historical and contemporary settings and has recently branched out into Women’s Fiction with her delightful The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee! No matter what she turns her writing hand to, you can count on Texas-sized heart in her stories. Thanks for helping me celebrate my 20th book, Carolyn!
You Are Cordially Invited…Come early, eat until your buttons pop, and dance until you drop!
Miss Clawdy’s Café has won the Jubilee blue ribbon every year since the dawn of time. This year, town matron Violet Prescott is going after that ribbon with an iron-clad determination only thinly disguised by her perfect coiffure and flawless manners, bless her heart.
It’s time for café owners Cathy and Marty and their best friend Trixie to pull out their secret weapon. And this is where a lifetime of friendship, combined with just the right recipe at just the right time, might carry the day—or blow everything to smithereens.
Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the jalapeños are hot, the gossip is hotter, and at the end of the day, it’s the priceless friendships that are left standing…
You might win a copy. Carolyn will send one to a random commenter, but why trust to luck?
For this story, I had to research both Irish and Norse traditions since the Vikings had invaded a corner of the Emerald Isle in the world of Erinsong. It was great fun putting an Irish princess and a Viking warrior together and watching the sparks fly.
Your comment today may win a download of Plaid To the Bone from Kensington Publishing, a copy of Carolyn Brown’s The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee (Doesn’t that title just make you smile?) or my Erinsong. And as always your comment is an entry in the Grand Prize drawing for a Kindle Paperwhite. Winners will be announced on September 16th!
Here’s the discussion question for today: What legend, tradition or fantastic jalapeno recipe do you wish an author would tuck into one of her stories?