Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Frightful October - 31 Days of Haunted Scotland

History is filled with many accounts of hauntings, ghouls, specters, legendary folklore. Oh yeah, and one of the most captivating, enchanting places in the world where these stories still entertain today is ... SCOTLAND.

Join me on my Facebook Page as I present "31 Days of Hunted Scotland"

Each day, I'll post a new site and give a tidbit of its history, haunting, or the folklore associated to it. I must admit that these castles, abbeys, cemeteries, and crofts inspire me tremendously when I'm writing my Scottish stories. Even as they might be reputed as scary or have a dark history, these places are captivating and enchanting.

So pop by and be sure to like my page, the post, and leave a comment. I'd love to interact with you about this hauntingly awesome subject. At the end of the month, I'll be picking a winner from the likers, commentators, etc. to win an author pack of goodies which will include a print copy of my latest book release Conquered Heart, a Scottish medieval which takes place during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Don't miss the start of this romantic, yet intriguing series.

Kara Griffin

Monday, September 19, 2016

Can't have enough FANTASY!

One of the best things about being a writer is creating a fantasy world. Every fiction book, regardless of genre is a fantasy. At least in my eyes they are. I absolutely adore writing historical fiction, add in romance, medieval times, some sexy Scots in kilts ... Sigh. But sometimes writing historical is exhausting. Mainly because I'm a stickler for historical fact and I love to weave in real happenings. There comes a moment when, as a writer, I need a break from being so regimented. What do I do? WRITE A FANTASY!

I love this genre and when my book cover artist put up a premade cover, it inspired me. I decided to take a break from my devilishly handsome Scot warriors and write about ... yes -- DRAGONS. A story idea came and now I'm enthralled and want to write the entire thing. Although, I have several projects that have been waiting in line. BUT write what's inspiring you, right?

Anyway, I am loving these characters, the dragons, and story line. Here's the blurb.

He is the last of his kind. King Rhydderch Pendragon guards his secret: that he rules the last dragon in the kingdom. Uthur, his beloved pet, is ill and he cannot figure out what’s wrong with him. As Rhyder’s wedding day draws near, he is apprehensive about leaving his pet and retrieving the lass he was betrothed to when he was a child.

As the youngest daughter of King Raedwald Baldach, Cathryn is the only one who can save their kingdom from marauders and embarrassment. When her sister compromised herself rather than wed the dragon king, she’s substituted as the would-be bride. As a child she was teased and told scary stories of the man she’d wed. Now grown, Cathryn accepts her destiny with an open heart, especially when the sexy, brooding, man comes to claim her.

Rhyder vaguely remembers meeting the lass when they were young. He doesn’t have the time or inclination to get to the know the reserved, beautiful woman. That is until Cathryn reveals a secret of her own. Cathryn does more than touch his heart when she vows to save his cherished pet.

I am excited about this story and cannot wait to share it with you.

Kara Griffin

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A BAD BOY is only good for one night...

A "Bad Boy" is only good for one night. OR is he?

Let's face it ladies, we all love the bad boy, don't we? When we select books to read, we search for the ultimate bad boy hero -- the one that's a challenge, the one that gives ultimate pleasure and leaves you wanting more ...

Yeah, the bad boy is a fantasy come true IF you can take a little of the bad out of him and keep his interest. A bad boy is always on the lookout for a conquest, a way to keep himself entertained, and well ... He's a bit selfish. But heck that's what we love about him.

When I write heroes in my romances, I love giving my heroes a little bit of the bad boy angst, but ultimately I write heroes who I would fall in love with. Heroes who no matter what give their heart, their whole heart. They sacrifice their happiness and all that they have. They vow to love, protect and cherish -- which is exactly what we women want. At least I do :)

No, I don't want the bad boy who rips my gorgeous gown or grips my hair and forces me to his will. I'm too spitfire for that. I want a man who can make my body sing and still be man enough to be sensitive, sweet, and sometimes charming. Yet in bed, let's face it - we want the BAD BOY. We want him to take what he wants, to demand his pleasure, to say what's on his mind - even if it's dirty! Oh, indeed - he should be cocky with some angst, have a good body, have the charisma knowing he's bad for us BUT we don't care.

I've written many memorable heroes and of them I would have to say James in IN LOVE WITH A WARRIOR is one of my favorites. He's a bad boy, but deep down he's vulnerable. He wants what he wants, but he realizes love comes with compromise. In the end he must realize his insecurities don't matter to the woman who loves him.

It was the same with Douglas Kerr in CLAIMED BY A CHARMER. He wasn't about to let any lass stomp all over him, but Isabel, well she does her best to snare him. Like me, she's a spitfire who makes her bad boy fall hard. He's a bad boy who claims not be easily won over, but in the end the lass of his dreams does more than that.

Then there is Graeme Cameron in my latest book, CONQUERED HEART. He isn't a bad boy, but a chivalrous warrior who won't let anyone interfere with the love of his life. I suppose ultimately that makes him a bad boy.

In thinking about Liam Kincaid in UNBREAKABLE HEART, the 2nd book in the Legend of the King's Guard series (my latest work-in-progress), I wanted him to be a bad boy initially and work up to be the "dream man" and he is definitely giving me a challenge because he so wants to be BAD. I just hope the heroine forgives his asinine behavior.

So what about you? Do you love a bad boy who turns into the "dream man" or are you happy with the bad boy who stays the bad boy and doesn't grow into the sort of "keeper" man? My dream man would be a bad boy who keeps some of his bad boy traits, but can charm me and yet is sensitive to my needs. Is there such a man in existence or was there ever? I certainly hope so!

Keep searching ladies!
Kara Griffin

Saturday, July 2, 2016


July 4th is one of those days that you can truly enjoy and know that your celebration is in remembrance of our history's past. I love history and the Revolutionary War is one of those events that has as much sadness as it has heroics. So many put their lives at risk to win freedom from England.

I'm not one for politics or political sentiment, but since this year is likely one of the most contentious years in our nation's history, you have to wonder what is going to happen? Will we all remember the words in the Declaration of Independence? Will we stand for a government that oppresses us? Our forefather's didn't, and we shouldn't either. Yet the only way we will ever make a difference is if we stand together -- but we're all too divided to really make a difference. I commend those who stand up for their rights and have the wherewithal to confront the government on issues they are passionate about.

So as the holiday nears, I got to thinking ... When did we celebrate the first 4th. Here's a great article by Live Science that explains it. Yes, July 4th, 1777 because no one thought of it until July 3rd, when in actuality the date should've been July 2nd. :) But we will celebrate on the fourth with joy and respect for what it really means. FREEDOM.


Wishing everyone in the USA a great holiday and during your celebrations, stop for a moment and realize that 240 years ago it was not such a joyous time. Let us hope the future rings bright for our country.

Kara Griffin

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Religion or no?

This blog post is about religion in Medieval times and it's contents are not the sole view of the author's and are primarily for discussion purposes.


I'll have less religion in my story, please...

Being a medieval writer, I (as well as many of my author friends), want to be as accurate as we can with character traits, settings, dress, politics, and especially with religion.

Imagine, it's the 13 or 1400's and almost everyone is pious. People from serfs all the way to the Lord of the land, and the clergy are all extremely pious. Even warriors and mercenaries stuck by regimented religious rituals.

It was a time when religion was a very serious matter. If a person didn't practice or follow the religion it could very well mean their heads. Although many people in Ireland, Britain, and Scotland continued to practice many old customs in conjunction with the newer Catholic religion rites. Those who followed the old religion had to do so in secret lest they be held for treason and likely executed.

In my opinion, I feel that many of the leaders of that time used religion to scare and keep those beneath them in line. It also helped to further their rule/leadership when certain laws were followed and those leaders had the benefit of being feared.

I suppose some of these religious philosophies are still be enacted today. Fear, using religion to invoke leaders and subjugate, etc. How sad it is that people cannot follow their hearts when it comes to beliefs. Today, religion, it seems is being segregated by age groups. For example, many of the youth follow no religion at all, while middle-aged people do practice, but with limitations. Older people still hold onto old beliefs and are much more pious than the younger people.

Time has changed, and religion is still there in the forefront of people's lives whether they believe or not.

When it comes to writing religion in Medieval times, I like to flavor my stories with just enough religion to set the tone of the time period, but not too much to detract the reader from the story. Let's be honest, if we wrote a person's daily life into our stories, we'd have five-thousand pages... And how boring would they be. Some people went to church every single day and many prayed up to five times a day. Let's just imagine for time-saving sake that you know this and writers can skip over that part of their lives.

This weekend, we celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Back in the 13/14th centuries people lit candles (these were used to denote light from dark through resurrection.) They also attended the service of lessons called "the prophecies", and performed the sacrament of baptism (this sacrament was only performed once a year, during Easter).

Decorating eggs goes back as far as the 13th century. We can assume the egg tradition likely came from a pagan festival. For Christians, it represents Jesus' resurrection. Eggs were a taboo food during lent, and people would decorate them and eat them when let was over.

The 13th century was a major stepping stone to accepting Christianity for many medieval folk. It had to be an exciting, yet inquisitive time for people as they explored their beliefs and gave much meaning to their lives. Either that, or they were too fearful and decided their lives meant more than following their pagan traditions. How sad for them.

Whatever your take or participation in religion, do you mind if it's mentioned in fiction (even if it's not the prominent part of the story)?

Do you wish authors would make their characters more religious and in line with the time period? Or would you rather it be omitted completely?

I really hope you comment even if it's anonymously. Your view means something and would never be ridiculed or refuted. Everyone has their own opinion, and that is a cherished thing.

Wishing (if you celebrate) a wonderful Easter filled with love of family, peace, and joy.

Everyone else, have a wonderful weekend!


Kara Griffin

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The mind of a writer #1

As we get more into 2016, I'm anxious to get back to writing a series I started last autumn. I had finished the Gunn Guardsmen series and was thinking ... what next? I took some time and let my brain rest. I happened to be flipping through the channels on TV and saw a commercial for the A-team, that long ago show that featured men from military that helped people, you remember.

I got to thinking, what if there were such men in the 13th century, and what if they were Scotsmen? My brain started to percolate with ideas. Finally I came up with a plot and I'm excited where the stories in this series will lead me. I couldn't put this series anywhere but during the Wars of Independence. It was such a turbulent time in Scotland.

In my research, I realized that Robert the Bruce would be a key figure in these stories. The series is titled The Legend of the King's Guard. So here's what I've come up with -- The men (4 of them - hence 4 stories in the series) are put in to service to protect the Bruce). They are sort of mercenaries and very loyal to their charge. When Bruce is exiled for killing Robert Comyn (TRUE), they flee Scotland for their lives (of course the king's guard goes with him).

When the Bruce decides to return to Scotland and end his exile, he demands that his loyal guard stay behind so they are not executed for their involvement in Comyn's death. The king's guard are not men to back down from any threat, and even though they promise the Bruce they will stay put, the decide to follow their king incognito and protect him.

Upon returning to Scotland the guard realize two things. 1. The king wasn't going to send word for them to ever return (still they have vowed to protect him and do!). 2. Many are having a tough time because of the turbulence of the county's state (which leads them to offer their services to help anyone in need).

There are some fun little plot events that will be scattered through all the books. Such as they are pursued by an awkward man who wants to be associated with them. This man lacks all the necessities to be a mercenary, but the men take the woe-is-me aficionado under their wings.

The guard also have ongoing banter betwixt them and there's a coin (brought back from the crusades) that go from one man to the next when said wagers are won. Oh the ideas of such wagers has me smiling. Hmmm, what shall these wagers be? We shall see.

There are so many plot twists and turns, and characters -- it's mapped out in this writer's mind. Now to get them on the screen. I cannot wait to delve into these stories and hope readers enjoy them.


Kara Griffin

Friday, February 12, 2016

The art of romance & writing

As St. Valentine's Day approaches, I've been thinking about the art of writing letters, romance, and love.

When I met my sweetheart over 30 years ago, we used to write each other all the time. Even if it was a one line "I missed you today" or "I am so in love with you". As the years passed, those heartfelt gestures wore off and we lost the art of writing romance to each other. How I miss his notes. Although we don't write any more, he does often tell me sweet words - whispered in my ear. I do know he loves me as much today as he did then. Still, a girl always wants to be romanced.

Gone are the days when men wrote prosy love letters. Can you imagine being the recipient of such a letter? No wonder those ladies clutched those letters to their chests.

Here's an example from Ludwig von Beethoven"

"My angel, my all, my very self
We shall surely see each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you the thoughts I have had during these last few days touching my own life -
If our hearts were always close together, I would have none of these.My heart is full of so many things to say to you - ah - there are moments when I feel that speech amounts to nothing at all –Cheer up - remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours.
Ah, wherever I am, there you are also –Much as you love me - I love you more –Oh God - so near! so far!Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us -
I can live only wholly with you or not at all –No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never
-Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves.Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together
-Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell.
Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.ever thineever mineever ours
Your faithful Ludwig"

As far as the holiday Valentine's Day, I am the ultimate romantic (which is why I write romances). However, I feel romance should be shared more than once a year and men should remember that chilvarly goes a long way to winning and keeping a girl's heart. But how do we inspire our men to keep up that romance?

A good question, huh? This eludes me right now. I suppose I should practice what I preech and be romantic myself. By writing a sweet note, whispering words to him, doing small romantic things might rub off on him. Will the gestures be returned? We'll see.

For now, we must keep on be romantic.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kara Griffin

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A little history goes a long way

Adding intrigue and history to romance ~

One of the things I love about writing fiction is that you can pretty much improvise wherever you wish in the book. BUT and that's a big but, historical romance readers often know their history and adding things in the story that really couldn't have happened, can often bring some negative comments from readers. I know as an author, I want to ensure the accuracy of the historical elements that I add. I will sometimes tweak them to suit my character's needs, but will remark on it at the end of the book in an author's note.

I absolutely love research. Some authors may hate it, but for me it inspires. I often get ideas from reading historical webpages, books, and articles. Doing this research helps to flavor the story with an accuracy of the time, which is extremely important to the reader.

In One & Only - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 1), the king, King William of Scotland was reputed to having many bastards. I of course used that to my advantage by making the heroine one of them. And I wanted William seen in a good light, so I had him be caring and thoughtful of the child. I think William is one of the most wonderful kings of Scotland and I enjoyed my research of him.

In On A Highland Hill - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 2), the king, King Alexander (in my research) I learned he was the first to use a standard of Scotland (flag). That fact inspired me to have the heroine's sister create a pinsel for the young Alexander. The king did indeed have some rough years there and I weaved that in, along with the creation of the pinsel to bring about a little mystery.

A Highlander In Peril - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 3), I loved reading about court life in Scotland. It probably wasn't as vicious a place as England's court, but ladies did have to be careful. Our heroine (must like myself) wouldn't want to be embroiled in the political drama. Again, King Alexander makes a showing, and must ensure the villain is the culprit before enacting his punishment. Although I think the king probably would've just had him hanged or beheaded without proof, I trust that King Alexander was a reasonable king.

In In Love With A Warrior - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 4), I take you to Wales. The rich and wonderful history of that country filled my heart. I am sure going to have to consider writing a series there! Llwyelen Iorwerth, the unofficial king of Wales, one of the Princes, was a great leader and did indeed meet in battles against Sir William Marshall's (the greatest knight that ever lived) son. I would've loved to have made the younger Marshall more villainous, but I couldn't do so. He had to have taken on some of his father's gallantry and so how he deals with our heroine must be considered. The Wales king was indeed one that I enjoyed getting to know.

So readers, when you're immersed in a historical romance, please know that many of the fiction your reading is woven with some historical fact. I know many historical authors take pride in ensuring the places, time, people are as accurate as we can make them.

Happy Reading,
Kara Griffin

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ten things you didn't know about Kara Griffin

Adores her husband, her ultimate hero
Born/raised in the city of Philadelphia
Favorite place, any of the New Jersey beaches YO!
Is a Gemini
Wants to visit Scotland (sometime soon)
Hates shopping of any kind
Eats Doritos without guilt
Wishes she could quit her day job
Watches Ancient Aliens and has a crush on Giorgio
Is a romantic

Friday, August 1, 2014

Forensics in medieval times? TRUE or FALSE

Hello readers, it's been a while since I posted and I apologize. My excuse ... LIFE. Working full time really limits the writing life, which really saddens me. I wish I could be immersed in writing all day. I wanted to share a little about my latest book release.

A Highlander In Peril is a Scottish historical. There's an evil villain loose, one that could be portrayed as a psychopath. And that leads our hero and heroine on a perilous course. In my story, the hero's friend likes to meddle with medicinals and has an ability to see details that others might miss. With his abilities, they can figure out how lasses died and what each of the murders has in common -- which ultimately and hopefully -- will lead them to the killer.

Now I won't give anything away, but this led me to thinking about medieval times and if people had such talents. Believe it or not, but forensic science has been used since the Roman era/days. You can read more about it on Sarah Woodbury's site. She has some really incredible information there.


So the answer to the question is TRUE! There really were forensics being performed in medieval times.

Here's a sneak peek at A Highlander In Peril (the scene is where they've discovered a body)... ~Enjoy.


Nearing the clearing where the men stood, Sean slowed and noticed Jacob walking the outlying perimeter. He and James dismounted, as did the two others, and they waited for Jacob to reach them.
“My lord, I found a few odd things around the body.”
“Show us. James is here to help.” Sean motioned for Jacob to lead the way.
Jacob knelt close to the body and they leaned in.
“Her undergarments are here,” he said, and displaced a bit of debris covering the cloth with a stick.
“Whoever did this took his time and placed them with care. He was undisturbed and took his leisure,” James said, assessing the area. “It’s remote.”
Sean agreed by nodding. “Why would he place them so neatly and carefully?”
“He cared about her,” this came from Jacob.
James took the stick and lifted the hem of her gown, which had risen to the base of her knees. He lifted the fabric higher and lowered his head to look beneath.
“There’s no abrasions on her legs or any indication that she’d been fleeing.” He moved to where her head was and crouched. “Her eyes were closed when she died.” James continued to study the body, and when Sean tried to ask him a question, James held up a hand.
He should’ve known better than to interrupt him when he was studying. Sean and the others waited in silence.
“She’s been poisoned. Aye, see the black roughness of her lips? I deem it was either belladonna or thorn apple seeds.” James continued to inspect the body.
Sean knelt next to him and noticed the blackened of her lips as well. “What is the significance of the stem?”
James used the stick and tried to dislodge it from her hands. When it came free, he picked it up and pieces fell away from its brittleness. “It’s from a rose, there are thorns. It was a thick flower given the width of the stem, fully grown.”
“Anything else of significance?” Sean frowned at the scene. For even though there was no evidence of blood, it was still gruesome.
“Aye, there’s a piece of her gown missing, near the bottom of the hem. He cut it away and took a piece of her garment as remembrance.”
“He loved her,” this came from Jacob, who stood a few inches behind them.
“We need to find out who she was involved with before her death. There had to be someone. Frances said Lombard’s steward, Bantrum, had a fondness for Winifred. Mayhap he killed her. We’ll have to look into it.” Sean realized none of the men showed their true regard for what they looked at. Except for the few men who wouldn’t move forward and stood afar. One of them continued to retch at the base of a nearby tree.
“I don’t see any wounds and no blood stains on her garments,” James said. He removed his tartan and set it on the ground. He started to roll the body over onto the fabric, and Sean hastened to help. James searched the back of her body for wounds or sign of death, but didn’t remark on any.
Sean helped to lift her body and set it on the tartan. James wrapped her and he helped carry and secure her to a horse. Once they returned to the spot where she’d lain, James stared, seemingly in his own mind.
“Is there anything else of note?” Sean asked him.
James nodded. “Aye, she was killed when it was cold.”
“How do you know that?” Jacob asked.
“There was no growth beneath her when she was set here. The grass had died off long before.”
“Do you deem she was killed elsewhere and placed here?” Sean realized James was right, for there nothing was beneath her and he wondered if the killer had cleared the spot. “It is isolated here. No one would have seen her unless they happened upon her as did you, Jacob.”
James held his chin, in deep thought and then spoke, “She was somewhat protected by the elements, with the large tree trunks blocking the wind from ravaging her.”
“It doesn’t appear that animals got to her.” Sean didn’t like this one bit, not one wee bit.
James grunted. “I’d say she’s been dead many months. Because of where she’d been placed, she was kept dry and safe. Her skin is decayed and yet not as much as I’d assume, unless she’d been put here in late winter. She was positioned here on purpose.”
“He wanted to protect her,” this came from Jacob.
“But he didn’t want us to find her. Let us get her home.” Sean was glad he’d kept Frances away, for she would have been deeply affected by the sight.

A Highlander In Peril is available now on Amazon.

I do hope you've enjoyed this little peek.


Purchase at:
In Print $12.99
In eBook: B00M4IL96K $5.99

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Pinterest/Inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/karagriffin/
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Amazon Author Page

Friday, December 6, 2013

Help me in welcoming Christy Gissendaner to Castles & Kisses!

Unmasking the Wolf
Christy Gissendaner

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Taliesin Publishing

Number of pages: 130
Word Count: 43,898

Book Description:

Gina Moretti is determined to escape her rural home of Clinton, Indiana, a place where wolves have met, married, and mated for generations. As the only daughter of the alpha, she’s lived her entire life under her father’s rule. No way is she ready to find a mate until she’s experienced more of the world. Against her family’s wishes, she goes to Boston where her scientist cousin, Dominic, has offered to give her a place to stay. She stumbles, quite literally, into her cousin’s gorgeous boss.

Lucas Mason, a Southern boy turned self-made millionaire, rose above his poverty stricken childhood and now enjoys a life of luxury in Boston. To honor his murdered sister, he hires her lab partner to continue their research. His employee, Dominic Moretti, is on the brink of creating a method to combat the scent of a wolf when his country cousin breezes in. Luke knows in an instant that Gina is his mate. The only problem is…she doesn’t even realize he’s a wolf.

As Luke and Dominic get closer to medical trials, an unknown enemy becomes determined to stop them…at any cost. Can Luke discover his foe in time to protect his research…and his mate? And what will happen when Gina finds out he’s not quite as human as he’s led her to believe?


Short Excerpt
“Ahhh,” she cried out as she tumbled toward the floor. A pair of strong arms clamped around her and jerked her back to her feet. Embarrassed beyond belief, her cheeks flamed with the knowledge she’d just made a fool of herself. In front of Dominic’s boss, no less. It didn’t take a brain scientist to realize the handsome, make that extremely handsome, man before her was Luke Mason.
He was sex-on-a-platter hot. Chiseled cheekbones, firm jaw, unbelievably straight nose, and a teensy weensy dimple in the center of his chin. This man was a living, breathing Greek god.
“Are you okay?” Piercing green eyes locked with hers as Luke’s grip on her arms slowly loosened.
Gina felt a jolt in the pit of her stomach. Despite Dominic’s warning to blend in, she sniffed the air. She had to. Something about this man called to her animal nature. But there was nothing. Not a trace of the wolf scent. Despite his unbelievable height and incredible physique, only the scent of sandalwood and spice came to her. Disappointment swamped her. He was human.
Luke continued to watch her. Gina knew he waited for her to speak, but her tongue refused to budge. She’d known he would be good-looking, but the newspaper article hadn’t done him full justice. Instead of a suit, he wore casual jeans and a dark blazer. He had the sort of hair that would curl in the rain. She didn’t know how she knew it. She just did. The golden-brown waves were delightfully rumpled in the middle of his head, as if he’d just risen from bed.
Gina gave a tiny moan at the thought of him rising naked from the sheets. He would be gloriously golden, with a tight belly and even tighter buttocks. Physical need rocked her to the core. What was up with lusting after a human? Was it merely the fact he was every woman’s wet dream, or something more?
His sensual lips curved into a sexy smile as he scrubbed a hand over his belly. “Hell of sharp elbow you have there.”
“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” Gina wanted to sink through the floor. Why was she always such a klutz?
“Don’t worry about it.” He drawled in a soft, slow tone.
She’d read he was originally from Jackson, Mississippi. The Southern accent was unbelievably sexy, but not nearly as sexy as the man himself. His face was a mixture of Hollywood leading man and mixed martial arts fighter. He was gorgeous, yet hard. She could easily visualize him serenading a woman one moment, and then fighting to protect her next.

About the Author:
Christy Gissendaner is a romantic comedy author and believes that laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit http://christygissendaner.webs.com




Friday, November 15, 2013

Want more Scots?

Coming very soon in print and ebook!


They were destined to meet, but they never expected to fall in love…

His tormented soul

Kenneth McInnish, guardsman for the powerful Gunn Clan, is not prepared for the tender devotion from the lass his clan steals from the king. Tricked into marrying her, he decides to make the best of it. But it’s her kisses that win him over to the fact that he just might enjoy being wedded. Beneath Kenneth’s wounded heart lies a protector. But Elisa is more than capable of taking care of herself. The only place he’s sure of himself with her is at night when he shares the most passionate experiences of his life.

Her giving nature

Elisa always thought she’d wed the ruthless warrior who abducted her. When she finds out the truth behind her abduction and is mercifully rescued, she is forced to wed for her protection. She chooses the warrior whose soul needs saving the most. Everything she does to aid him goes awry and puts him in a worse position. Faced with the possibility of endangering his clan, she risks her own safety to save him.

A dangerous encounter

When Kenneth learns of the trickery which caused him to marry her, and forces him to confront his demons, he’s not sure how to handle it or her. She’s everything he never knew he could have. As they aid all those around them, can they save each other and find the love they both need and desire?

I'll be sure to let you know when it's out.

~Kara Griffin

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Attack of Inspiration!

Often I get asked where do you get the inspiration for your books? For my historical novels, I do a lot of research and often come across a piece from the past that inspires a scene or a character. During my research I often find little tidbits that make me stop and make a note of a fact or historical figure. I can't help wanting to add or even find out more about such events or people.

In Claimed By A Charmer, I was watching BookTV and saw an interview about the movie The Magdalen Sisters. The author was speaking about real events that were shared in the story. One of the themes centered around the movie was how young girls were sent to the asylum by their parents. It inspired me to have Isabel being sent to an asylum and where she's saved by the hero. The asylum where she's sent is just as horrid as that depicted in the movie, and there are some dark events that take place.

In One And Only, I was researching medieval festivals and read about St. Swithin's Day. Of course I had to use it as the festival day when Bree goes missing as a small child. And I just loved the ditty about the festival too, and had her sing it.

In my newest story, On A Highland Hill, I wanted to put something historical in my story and was researching pinsels and found out that Alexander II was the first to use a royal standard of Scotland. In my story, a woman (of course fictitious) was sewing a banner for him and used some of the images in her pinsel for Alexander. There's also a little bit about what it means to be born on a certain day. Monday's child is ... You'll have to read the book to see :) but it's a fun bit of inspiration I got from research.

I know that many authors, like me, do try to be accurate about historical events, and so I try to weave them into my stories without compromising history too much.

Hope you enjoyed this little insight into where I get my inspiration.

Kara Griffin

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A little insight to Douglas ...

If you would like to share an excerpt of your favorite hero, send it to me at karagrif66@comcast.net and I'll be happy to post it.

Here's a little insight into Douglas' character:


Douglas was beyond chagrined. Almost a week had gone by that he’d been home, not a blessed word of his wife’s whereabouts came. He was so incensed that he had a frown plastered on his face from sunup to sundown. Even his mother hadn’t been able to get him to release his aggression.
His mother touched his arm, and he looked up from his tray, pushing it away.
“Don’t worry so, lad. She’ll come back.”
“Ah, you have such confidence. Wish that I had. I just hope she is safe.”
“I’m sure she is. Is her brother still here?”
Douglas grumbled. “Aye, he won’t leave until she returns. I wish I told Isabel how much I loved her when I had the chance. Doesn’t seem likely I’ll have the chance now.”
His mother gasped. “I just thought of a way you can show your love for Isabel. Why didn’t I think of this before? Aye, I know what you should do.” She whispered in his ear, and for the first time since returning empty handed without his wife, Douglas laughed.
Nate and Gil walked inside and joined him.
“What’s so amusing?” Gil asked.
“My Mother has a strange sense of humor. What are ye thinking, Nate? You’re too quiet.” Douglas noticed his brother-in-law’s grim expression.
“‘Tis the truth, women. I was thinking what a pain in the arse my sister is.”
Burk entered the hall, wearing a sour expression that instilled a tightening in his chest. Douglas’ concern for his cousin became more worrisome as each day passed. He was almost afraid to ask what the news was.
“I’ve a message from Julianna.” Burk thrust the message at him.
“Has Bonnie been found?” Shelagh asked.
“Nay, Milady Kerr.”
Douglas read the message. All watched him as a multitude of expressions crossed his face, but he continued to look at the parchment. He finally lifted his head and laughed. “I know where she is.”
“Where?” Shelagh, Gil and Nate asked at once.
“Isabel is safe. She went to Julianna, and convinced her to send Father Tomas to aid the girls. Then she went to make sure they were safe at Parkville convent. Father Tomas took her to the Gordon’s.”
Nate swore. “She was never one to await anything.”
“I don’t know if I’m angry with her or not. Hell, she should have had faith in me. I was going to rescue the lassies after I finished …”
“But you didn’t tell her that, she didn’t know what you planned. This is all your fault.” His mother frowned at him.
“You’re aright, Mother. I know exactly what I will do.”
Everyone looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to expand on his remark, but he didn’t.
The evening meal was more joyous than that of previous nights. Douglas sat smiling, and ate heartily, his appetite returned. Many of his soldiers and clans-people attended the meal, and he was in a much better mood. He didn’t appear to be in a hurry to get to his ill disciplined wife.
“Why are you not on your steed, riding to England? She’ll not send you a blasted invite.” Nate hadn’t stopped pestering since earlier that afternoon.
“I’ll leave when I’m ready. Besides, she’s not going anywhere. Mayhap I’ll leave her to worry a bit before I go, serves her right for disobeying me.”
“But, you didn’t tell her she couldn’t leave the keep. Did you?”
Douglas laughed. “Nay, I didn’t, but a wife should know better than to leave the safety of her clan. I’ll make sure she follows that dictate in the future.”
Nate grinned. “And how are you going to ensure that? My sister is disobedient.”
“Aye, I love that about her most.”
“Shouldn’t ye go? Please, bring her home.” His mother hadn’t stopped badgering him either.
“Mother, I suppose you’ll nag me to death, until I do. I know exactly what I am doing. I’ll bring her home, only she’ll want to come.”
Shelagh smiled. “This is where she belongs, it’s her home and—”
Douglas pushed his chair out, then strolled toward the door, and called to Cedric. “I want you to deliver a message to Laird Gordon.”
“Where are you going, Douglas?” Nate shouted. “If you are going after my sister, I am coming, too.”
“I’m not going after her. She’ll come to me. I’m going to see Lowrie.” Douglas’ voice held a tinge of arrogance.
Shelagh walked to him. Her smile couldn’t be wider, her eyes twinkled. “Douglas, Lowrie?”
“Aye, Mother, Lowrie.”
“Does this mean you are going to—”
“Aye, I’m going to show her how much I love her.”



Question for readers & writers ~ Who is the greatest hero you've written or read?

We all love to read about our dashing heroes and see him develop through the story. He may start off brash, cross, filled with angst. He may be a tortured soul or a man whom no one understands. He may be charming, but hides his heavy heart. It takes an amazing woman to deal with such a man, but he is the essence of the romance we love to read.

My answer:
For me, my favorite hero I've ever written has to be Douglas Kerr from Claimed By A Charmer. There's so much going on with him. I don't think I ever fully wrote the entire complexity of his character. He still nudges me from time to time, and I just smile because his story is written and that is that. And yet I wonder if I was able to make him truly happy with my choice of heroine for him. Isabel certainly gave him some surprises. With a man like Douglas, he needs a woman to keep him on his toes. Don't they all?

Claimed By A Charmer

(2nd book in the Pith Trilogy series)

In CLAIMED BY A CHARMER, Isabelle Calvert hopes to win the heart of Douglas Kerr by being the sweet, coy woman all men want. But what Douglas doesn’t know is Isabel’s true nature.

Lady Isabel Calvert hides her true spirit from everyone, especially her best friend's brother, Douglas, whom she secretly admires. Isabel'solder brother attempts to do the unthinkable and one night he almost succeeds. After the incident her father's superstition nature induces him to send her to an asylum. She must escape, her only hope—Douglas Kerr. Isabel is no shrinkingviolet, but she intends to be the timid woman all men want, in hope that Douglas will love her.

Laird Douglas Kerr is forlorn at his mission to find a wife. He was charming, wasn't he? At least that's what everyone teases him about. Douglas thought he'd found the woman of his dreams, but she turned out to be a harlot. He's asked by his sister to retrieve her friend, Isabel, the fiery, red-haired, cat-eyed, temptress he'd met when he escorted his sister home for their father's burial. When he meets the woman again, he doesn't find the hellion he believes her to be. Nay, she's a sweet, coy woman who intrigues him. As Douglas' life becomes complicated with mysterious happenings, he also find the love he's been missing all his life.

Can this dagger wielding woman win the heart of the Charmer?

Please do share your favorite character, whether you've read or written him. We would love to read your thoughts on the greatest hero!

~ Kara Griffin

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Join me starting September 15th for a weekly blog post about Historical romances, medieval history and fun chats. I'll be offering some giveaways exclusively on this blog. Historical/romance authors will be invited to join in the discussions.

Should be fun. I am so looking forward to it.

Kara Griffin

Monday, October 8, 2012

To read a book or watch TV?

The scales are tipping these days. Gone are the days when I preferred reading a book to TV. But we have to admit there are so many good shows on right now. I still prefer reading, especially a historical. Still, I cannot miss my favorite TV shows. Good thing there's On Demand TV.

I cannot miss: Dexter, Hell on Wheels, Boardwalk Empire, Copper ... and some are getting ready to come back Borgias, Game of Thrones, and a few others.

Which shows would you watch over reading a book?


Friday, September 21, 2012

A writer's weird ...

You may think you may know me but ...

When I sit down to write all must be right in my world. I cannot concentrate or even begin to start writing unless everything is in order. If I sit to write and there is one thing out of place, I must take action. Strange isn't it? I guess it's my quirky weirdness. But really if I want to focus on writing I must be in a clean, orderly room - with no distractions.

And that's not even the worst of it. I need to have a clear mind so all the stuff that fills my brain must be shoved out so I can think and concentrate. In order to do this, I sit, breathe, and kind of meditate until there is nothing in my thoughts but my story.

I'm not hard to live with. Well maybe I am.

I feel slightly sorry for my family who has to put up with these quirky personalities. For me, all needs to be settled before I can even think to sit and write.

What about you? Are you of a similar mind?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

One And Only - new release excerpt by Kara Griffin

An excerpt of my newly released book: One & Only

Intro: Grey is young lad put in charge of watching over the lass, Albrey, whom he will be betrothed to. He's left her sleeping near her parents to go and watch the warriors train...

“I best get back to watching Albrey. She’s probably awakened by now.”

Laird Gunn patted his son’s shoulder. “Aye, ye do your duty well watching the lass. It was honorable of ye to do so all day, lad. We should get to the betrothal ceremony; all are likely in their cups by now and won’t get to enjoy the announcement.”

Laird Ross stopped him with a hand to his shoulder. “Before we do, I want to give ye this.” He pulled out a steel dagger from a leather sheath. The dagger was well made, encrusted with a row of red jewels on the handle. “I give ye this gift, Grey, on this your betrothal day. As your champion, I bid you to always protect what is yours.”

“I will, Laird Ross.” Grey was pleased by the gift and admired the sharp blade. The jewels gleamed and gave a sparkle to the handle. He slid it back in the sheath and tucked it inside his tunic. “Thank ye for giving it to me.”

“Come, we shall find the lass and shout the news afar. She’ll be a bonny lass, Grey, when she’s older. Albrey will give you fine sons with strength enough to lead our soldiers. You will be an honorable man and she deserving such.” Laird Ross clapped his shoulder.

Grey walked beside his da, stepping lively. He wanted to hear the grand gesture of what the betrothal meant, once again. When his da and Albrey’s father was given the order by King William to betroth Albrey to him, Grey had been awakened in the middle of the night. They related the dictate with elation. The betrothal would allow them to ally their clans, and put aside the wars and scuffles.

The only promise Albrey’s father asked of him was that their families be at peace and that Albrey be safe from harm be it from he or his enemies. When asked if he could handle the task, Grey nodded and assured them he was capable, for which he received a few punches to his arms and grunts of approval.

Grey would always protect her and keep her in comforts, safe from his enemies, and he’d do his best to adore her. It’s what his da had done for his ma. His father had placed his mother in high esteem, always telling anyone who would listen that if it were not for her, he would be a lesser man. Laird Gunn taught his men to follow his lead and revere the women in their clan with the greatest respect. Grey had received those lessons since he’d been able to walk. Without women, men would suffer so. They would not have such tasty meals, clean tartans, tidy homes, or children to strengthen the clan.

As Grey reached the table where his ma had sat, he frowned. Neither Lady Mackay nor his ma was there. The spot where Albrey had lain was unattended, the grass undisturbed. She hadn’t lain very long. He should have known she would flee as soon as everyone’s backs turned. Then a twinge of guilt came upon him and he scolded himself for not checking on her sooner.

Both the Mackay and Gunn clans, as well of those attending the celebration, searched for hours. All looked for the missing lass, well into the morning light. Grey wouldn’t return to his family’s holding no matter how much his ma pleaded. He kept the search going, lighting a torch and checking most of her hiding spots.

The lass disappeared altogether. Grey grew dejected and could only blame himself. Their earlier conversation came back to him and he relayed what she’d told him to his da. He envisioned her face when she’d told him of her fear. But his da didn’t put much weight in Albrey’s concern about Kenneth MacHeth.

After nearly three days of looking for her, Grey finally conceded defeat. As he stood before his family’s home crestfallen, his da came outside.

“Come inside, Grey. Your ma is worried sick.”

Grey pulled the dagger from within his tunic, given to him by Donal Ross. Fitting it symbolized his betrothal, a union that would never be. Taking hold of his plaid, he tore it off, and then ripped his tunic until he felt the breeze on his uncovered chest. The air was crisp enough to bring a speckle of goose bumps to his flesh. Grey paid no attention to the effect of the night wind and looked up at his father.

“I didn’t keep my promise to Albrey. I swore to protect her. She’s lost to me forever, Da. This will always remind me of my failure.” Grey drew the pointed end of the sharp dagger over his heart, making a decent sized slash, one that would certainly need stitching.

Blood began pouring out of him and all he felt was the warmth of the liquid flowing over his skin and the sting of his failure. He looked up at his da and his vision blurred.

“Grey! God Almighty! Grey!” His da roared an anguished cry as he caught Grey’s body before it fell to the ground.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into One & Only. It's available now in both print and ebook on Amazon.com

Kara Griffin

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Top 5 Reasons I Love Reading Historical Romances


1. Chilvary - There's nothing like a dashing hero who can be both obstinate and gentle, who isn't afraid to show a little courtly romance... But let's face it, men were brutal in the past. Of course they faced many dangerous situations then, like foes who carried massive swords or villains who conspired to thwart them anyway they could. Yet there is nothing grandure than a hero rescuing a maiden from a tower!

2. Maidens - I love heroines who could be dainty and demure, yet kickass and who doesn't give up. A heroine who gets her man! Being a woman was hard in those days. She had to submit to her hero and yet she had to be strong, perhaps even willful enough to challenge him from time to time.

3. Passion - People were so passionate about what was important to them. Nothing would stand in their way when they wanted something or someone. A hero would defend his land, woman, or people to his death if need be. Sigh, to be so fervent...

4. Attire - Clothing was not as simple as now a days. Depending upon the status of a person, their garments could be very simple. I would rather be a noble who had to dress to impress. Even though they wore clothing loose, they'd add items to embellish the look. I'd wear a long overdress, sewn with beautiful bodice and sleeves (I would probably have to ask someone to sew it for me - alas I cannot sew!) I would wear my hair long and fasionable. Although, I don't want to think about when the weather warmed. It probably got really hot wearing all those layers.

5. Beliefs - In days gone by, people were so supersitious. I suppose I am too, which is why I can connect with the ancients. I love folkelore and the tall tales of mystical creatures coming to destroy the village.

What are your reasons for loving and enjoying historical romance?


Friday, September 7, 2012

In honor of my upcoming release of "One & Only" I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Scottish romances, Claimed By A Charmer. It's free at Smashwords until 9/15!

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: PH29L
Expires: September 15, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

What kind of character would you be?

After writing my last book, One & Only (and truly being sad to leave the characters) it got me to thinking, what kind of character would I be if I were written into a story?

For me, I would have to say I'd be an elegant lady in medieval times. I would have to be from a wealthy family, because let's face it - unless you were born of a noble household or married into one, life was pretty darn difficult (and dirty) lol. I would have to have servants, who I would treat kindly, because an elegant lady treats everyone with kindness. I am not sure though that I'd be amiable to the obey thy lord. I have never obeyed anyone, lest of all my husband (who I adore, and he knows all he has to do is ask...) I dislike being commanded. That would probably be the only flaw in choosing that character. I suppose I would have to be extra sweet to my lord, laird, or king so he would purchase me fabulous material for my gowns.

So who would you be? Would you be a villain? What era would you want to be in? Contemporary? Whose author's characters do you relate to? For me it would have to be Julie Garwood's because she writes such elegant medieval ladies. If I had chosen contemporary, I would have to say Lizzie T. Leaf's characters are pretty awesome, and if I wanted to be kick-ass or vampish, I'd have to say Marie Treanor's characters would suit me.

Writing characters can be fun, but oftentimes it is difficult for writers to let them go. The good news is, for the next couple of months, I'll be sharing my story, One & Only with you, and hope you enjoy it.

Kara Griffin

Image credit: aspenphoto / 123RF Stock Photo

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writing historical sex scenes

In writing my latest historical romance, I got to thinking about sex in medieval times. I'm sharing a link below with some interesting facts. As I read it, I thought -- I am so glad I did not exist then. Sex is far more interesting now than it was then! Or at least it is more creative, sensual, and meaningful. Writing fiction allows us to stretch the truth a little and not be so confined to the actuality of what sex was like then. At least I hope most authors are taking creative freedome, lol, in writing scenes related to sex.

In the regency/Georgian era, there were so many rules for a young lady to follow. Even then sex was so shushed and hidden. I hope readers know that were we to "tame" it down and stick with the veritable facts when it comes to writing sex scenes, we'd be bored to tears.

Read more at:

Sex In Medieval Times

What do you think? Should authors take creative liberties when writing historical character's sex scenes? Would love to hear your feedback.


Get the Pith Trilogy now on Amazon!
Warrior's Pledge
Claimed By A Charmer
Lass' Valor

Coming in paperback soon, a new Scottish romance!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hi all, in honor of my BD, I'm giving away FREE copies of Claimed By A Charmer. Douglas and Isabel are perhaps my most favorite characters. If you would like to get it, go to Smashwords and enter this coupon:

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: TL48M
Expires: July 11, 2012

"Claimed by a Charmer is charming, sweet and an enjoyable romantic read." I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please share if you'd like with your friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hi friends,

To introduce The Pith Trilogy, the first book in the series is only 99 cents at Smashwords! Use this code to get the special pricing. I hope you enjoy the trilogy and your "journey" to Scotland.

Promotional price: $0.99
Coupon Code: GN56D
Expires: May 29, 2012

Happy Reading!