Books, Characters, General, Highland Menage, Highland Menage, Highland Menage (16th century Scotland), Historical Reference, Location, Research, Scotland

Still writing, and researching, and plotting….

While I’ve been working on the 6th book in my Climax, Montana contemporary cowboy series, I’m also putting effort toward the last three sets of MacDougal brothers in my Highland Ménage series, set in the late 1580s.

I’ll be heading to Scotland this fall to complete research on the last three sets of MacDougal brothers so they can find their Happily Ever Afters. As before,  historical figures will appear (they are marked here with an asterisk), and the land, people, history and customs will be as accurate as possible.

Gylen Castle

Gylen Castle on Clan MacDougall’s Isle of Kerrera, photo credit

Before I could book my flights to Scotland I had to know the plots for these last books to ensure I visit the clans and lands that will feature the three sets of MacDougal brothers who have yet to find their Happily Ever After.

If you follow my Facebook site (reece.butler.568) you’ll know the next set of brothers to be featured are Torquil, a warrior badly scarred inside and out, and Ewan, who has the ‘Sight’ and is blasted with visions if he comes near most people. Even a small touch by anyone but Torquil is excruciating.

So, of course their Happily Ever After must involve a woman who is not disgusted by Torquil’s scars (inside, or out), and who Ewan can touch and experience pleasure. That woman is Brigid O’Donnell of Ireland, a seventh child of a seventh child with a healing touch.

Dunderawe castle painting

Clan Macnaughten Castle on Loch Fyne

The next set of brothers, Artair and Zander, head off across Campbell land to spend the winter at Calltuin with Isabel Graham and twins Tearlach and Rory (see books 7/8,  King’s Pawn and King’s Knight). They get across Campbell land to relative safety at Clan Macnaughten’s castle on Loch Fyne but wake up in the dungeon after celebrating with the men.

Though the two clans are allies against the Campbells, Chief Malcolm Macnaughten of Dunderawe* has heard horror stories about the MacDougals. Near death, he must marry his only surviving child a warrior-trained, uppity daughter to someone other than a Campbell, whether they agree or not.

The last set of brothers, Dougal and Finn, haven’t traveled much past the borders of Clan MacDougal. That changes when Alexander Fraser, 4th Lord Lovat* invites them to accompany him as he escorts a herald of King James VI to ensure various clan chiefs are following his edicts.

drawing of Keiss Castle, Wick

Keiss Castle, Caithness, one of a series of drawings by Andrew Spratt

They visit along the way, of course. Alana, daughter of George Sinclair, 4th Earl of Caithness* has settled into Keiss Castle with James and Cormac (books 3/4, A Lady’s Seduction and A Lady’s Vengeance). Alexander Ross, 9th of Balnagowan* is still a thorn in their side, as is Alana’s father with all his intrigues.

Though King James VI* wants to stop clan feuding, Archibald Campbell, the Earl of Argyll* continues to scheme with his relatives to expand Clan Campbell land and power.

Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy* hasn’t forgotten Gillis and Angus MacDougal stealing Fiona Fraser Menzies from his grasp (books 1/2, Captive Bride and Captive Love).

Worse, after his daughter Margaret was married by proxy to Somerled MacDougal by King James VI*, she did things which made him look a fool, or worse (books 9/10 Bedding the Enemy and Loving the Enemy).

Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle on Skye, photo credit Mihael Grmek from Wikipedia

Dougal and Finn will find their Happily Ever After with a daughter of either Clan MacLeod of Lewis or Clan Macleod of Harris (during this time they disagreed in far more than the spelling of their clan name). Laird Fraser will take the Herald to visit the isles of Lewis and Harris and of course Dunvegan Castle on Skye, the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland and MacLeod stronghold for almost 800 years.

And you, dear reader, will travel with them. Completing these novels will take time, but it is my intention to complete the series, as well as continue with the families in Climax, Montana.  (

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