Help me give a big Romancer welcome to Tamara Morgan!
Based on the title, I could make this a highly intelligent post about all the scary things a writer faces as her first book enters the world. I could talk about how the overwhelming fear of rejection can stilt the creative process, or how every day is an exploration in pushing myself to succeed.
While these fears are present and worthy of study, they’re not what I’m here to talk about today. What I’m really here to talk about are…goats.
My fear of goats can be traced to a single event that occurred not too long ago. Picture, if you will, a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller through a state park. This is a nice park, mind you, with paved trails winding down to the river. A place to take in the fresh air and beautiful sights.
Even though it is midday, there is no one around. The young mother suddenly hears the clickity-clack of cloven hooves behind her. She whirls to discover the horror that is The Chasing Goat.
No one knows where The Chasing Goat came from, or why it decided to journey through the park on that day. All we know for sure is that it took one look at the young mother, zeroing in on her with its yellow, rheumy eyes, and decided to move. Not away from the scary human creatures, and not past them toward the delicious pastures below. Oh, no. This goat darted right after our poor young mother.
Guys, I ran.
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I was all alone in the woods and out of nowhere, this goat decided it wanted to EAT MY BABY.
I couldn’t turn around and go back up the hill to the safety of my car, because I would have had to pass the goat to get there. And since I had the stroller, the woods were out of the question. So I ran the only place I could go: down. Down the paved path toward the river, hoping that maybe I could get far enough ahead to climb a tree or jump into the water.
Now, having grown up in a semi-rural place, I know a little bit about safety in the woods. I know that you should always make yourself appear larger when confronted by a mountain lion, and that you should avoid eye contact and stand your ground if you see a bear. But I defy anyone to find me the guide for How to Prevent Attack from The Chasing Goat.
Because that goat? It followed. And it was fast. And it wanted to EAT MY BABY.
Since I’m still here today, you can all assume that I survived the attack. It was hit and miss there for a while, so let’s just say that if it weren’t for a man fishing down by the river with his super fierce and kick-ass Border Collie, I might not be here today to share my book and my tale. I owe that dog my life, and if he ever falls down a well, I’ll be the first to alert his family.
Unfortunately, however, the damage was done, and I’ll be damned if you can get me anywhere near a goat now. I don’t trust them or their yellow, rheumy eyes. (However, their milk does make delicious cheese. I’ll give them that.)
Of course, I’m scared of other things, too—not just writer stuff, but Muppets, winding mountain roads, and Carrot Top.
But this post is already too long. Someday I’ll tell you how I feel about that creepy little orange Muppet with the tiny head. I might also share with you the story of careening down a cliff in a bus and how that scarred my younger self.
And someday, when I’m feeling very brave, maybe we can even tackle Carrot Top’s eyebrows.
* * *
It takes a real man to wear a kilt. And a real woman to charm him out of it.
It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.
Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.
Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.
Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants…and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.
Warning: The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.
Tamara Morgan is a romance writer and unabashed lover of historical reenactments—the more elaborate and geeky the costume requirements, the better. In her quest for modern-day history and intrigue, she has taken fencing classes, forced her child into Highland dancing, and, of course, journeyed annually to the local Renaissance Fair. These feats are matched by a universal love of men in tights, of both the superhero and codpiece variety.