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