The Scots of Dairiada: The Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour.
Fergus, Loarn and Angus, Princes of the Dalriada, are forced into exile by their scheming half-brother and the druidess Birga One-tooth.
Fergus conceals himself as a stable lad on Aran and falls helplessly in love with a Scottish princess, already promised to someone else. Loarn crosses swords against the Picts. Angus designs longboats.
TOGETHER A MIGHTY POWER
Always on the run the brothers must attempt to outride their adversaries by gaining power themselves. Together they achieve more than they could possibly dream of.
Fergus Mór (The Great) is widely recognised as the first King of Scotland, giving Scotland its name and its language. Rulers of Scotland and England from Kenneth mac Alpín until the present time claim descent from Fergus Mór.
Full of unexpected twists and turns, this is a tale of heart-breaking love amidst treachery, deceit and murder.
Spring turns to early summer and the horses continue to be schooled. The three-year-olds are sorted, some will be kept for further training and others sold to make room for this year’s yearlings to take their place.
Fergus waits to hear about Starlight’s fate.
“She’ll be sold, I’m afraid,” Tormey tells Fergus. “You’ve done a good job with her, an’ she’ll fetch a good price, but she’s a lightweight mare and is best suited for hunting.”
Fergus is a little sad, but he was expecting this outcome, so it is no surprise. He goes to Lockwood’s pasture. His hoof is looking better, but he is a terrible baby. Without any shoes on, he steps on a sharp stone and hobbles about as if he’s been shot in the leg. Hamish is watching him in the field too. He bursts out laughing “What a play-actor!” he says.
“Well, we can tell the auctioneer to say he’s got character,” Fergus replies.
They go to the training ring where Lorcan is teaching Thunderbolt to step sideways. He hardly touches the reins; Thunderbolt responds to Lorcan’s legs and use of body weight.
“I wish I could ride as well as him,” Hamish swoons. Lorcan hears him, dismounts, and tells Hamish to mount. Then he explains what Hamish must do. Fergus listens intently as Thunderbolt starts to walk backwards under Hamish’s command.
“He’s tossing his head about too much,” Lorcan complains. “Fergus, go and fetch a holding strap to fix to his girth. That should help.”
Fergus sprints towards the tack room, enters, grabs a leather strap and is about to leave again, when he catches a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. He glances down the row of boxes and sees the scallywag about to give Starlight something.
“Hey, you! What are you doing?” Dropping the harness, he races towards the boy who, startled, bolts out of the door, and charges up the hill towards the forest behind the castle.
Fergus runs hell for leather after him. The scamp is fast and surefooted. He jumps over the ledge of a low wall, Fergus vaults after him. The boy hotfoots it. Fergus is fit but his lungs press together, squeezing all breath out of him. The boy wants to spring over the next fence, but he misjudges the height and falls head first over it. He tries frantically to pick himself up quickly, but Fergus is upon him, straddling his back and pinning his arms roughly to the ground. The boy squirms beserkly trying to escape, Fergus is raging and turns him over viciously onto his back. The boy blushes and Fergus’s jaw drops between his knees.
“You’re a girl!” he says, stating the obvious. He lets go of her, and the girl sits up angrily and yanks her léine back over her shoulder.
“What were you doing in the stables?”
“I just wanted to give Starlight an apple,” she says, pulling an apple out of her pocket to justify herself.
“It’s forbidden to enter the stables.”
“I know, I just wanted to stroke her.”
“Who are you?”
“Where do you live?”
“Up there,” she says pointing vaguely to an obscure point in the distance.
“Next time you want to bring an apple, tell me first, then you can give her one. But only when you tell me first, agreed?”
Fergus can’t forget that Cartan poisoned Niamh; the horses are much too valuable to take any chances. The girl nods solemnly and Fergus returns to the tack room to retrieve the holding strap.
“You took your time!” Lorcan says when Fergus finally gives him the leather strap.
“There was someone there, everything’s in order though.”
“Well go and saddle up the bay stallion then. I might as well give you both a lesson at the same time. Hamish, come here, we’ll attach the holding strap.”
Fergus rushes off, thrilled at the prospect of a lesson. When he returns, Lorcan demonstrates halting Thunderbolt mid canter and makes him turn on the stop.
“Now you both try,” he says, dismounting and handing Thunderbolt to Hamish. “Fergus, you first. Careful! A controlled canter, don’t let him run away with you, good.
Try again. Yes, that’s much better. Right, now you, Hamish. Keep your knees in tight.”
That night Fergus lies awake on his straw mattress, trying to remember everything that Lorcan has taught him. But his thoughts are constantly distracted by much more disturbing matters. He can’t stop thinking of Rhianna. Of her startling blue eyes and of her accidently revealed breast. Her skin was so pale under her léine. He keeps wondering who she is, and why she is always watching the horses.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/47VXAL
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BS78THF3
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Rowena Kinread grew up in Ripon, Yorkshire with her large family and a horde of pets. Keen on travelling, her first job was with Lufthansa in Germany.
She began writing in the nineties. Her special area of interest is history. After researching her ancestry and finding family roots in Ireland with the Dalriada clan, particularly this era.
Her debut fiction novel titled “The Missionary” is a historical novel about the dramatic life of St. Patrick. It was published by Pegasus Publishers on Apr.29th, 2021 and has been highly appraised by The Scotsman, The Yorkshire Post and the Irish Times.
Her second novel “The Scots of Dalriada” centres around Fergus Mór, the founder father of Scotland and takes place in 5th century Ireland and Scotland. It is due to be published by Pegasus Publishers on Jan.26th, 2023.
The author lives with her husband in Bodman-Ludwigshafen, Lake Constance, Germany. They have three children and six grandchildren.
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