Duncurra Book 1 – Highland Solution

The electronic version of Highland Solution is available at the bargain price of $0.99 exclusively on, Amazon!!

The paperback version is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The audio version is available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

CoverFinalMD-HighlandSolution

 Laird Niall MacIan needs Lady Katherine Ruthven’s dowry to relieve his clan’s  crushing debt but he has no intention of giving her his heart in the bargain.

Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. Lady  Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is rumored to be “unmarriageable” and her uncle hopes to be  granted her title and lands when the king sends her to a convent. King David II anxious to strengthen  his alliances sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs.  Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine’s hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will    receive her lands and title.
Lady Katherine must forfeit everything in exchange for a husband who does not want to be married   and believes all women to be self-centered and deceitful. Can the lovely and gentle Katherine mend his heart and build a life with him or will he allow the treachery of others to destroy them?

Excerpt:

Cotharach Castle, Central Scottish Lowlands, June 1359

“Lady Katherine, oh, Lady Katherine, there you are,” said an ashen faced chambermaid as she rushed into the kitchen. “You have to come quick. There are two Highlanders in the great hall with your uncle. Sir Ruthven bid me to fetch you there now.”

Hot, flushed, and certainly not prepared to receive visitors or face her uncle again so soon, Katherine sighed, saying, “You stay here. I’ll go to the great hall alone. It never pays to keep Uncle Ambrose waiting.” At the look of panic on the girl’s face, Katherine added, “I’m sure it’s nothing, don’t worry.”

Katherine froze when she saw at least a dozen rather imposing Highland warriors waiting in the courtyard. An even larger group of Ruthven soldiers kept their distance, observing the strangers cautiously. Knowing she’d pay for it later, she stepped back into the kitchen and asked Moyna to offer them food and ale. Then, fearing she had already kept her uncle waiting too long, she hurried into the great hall.

She entered with her head down. Sometimes a show of subservience tempered her uncle’s anger. He read from an unfurled scroll and didn’t acknowledge her immediately, so, with her eyes still downcast, she took a quick look to her right. Two sets of feet in the open leather shoes Highlanders wore caught her attention. Unbidden, her eyes followed the nearest thickly muscled bare legs up the length of the man’s tall, powerfully built body. He wore typical Highland clothing, a belted linen tunic that barely reached his knees, with a plaid fastened by a brooch around his massive shoulders. She had to tilt her head back to see his face. The grim expression he wore startled her. Clearly this man was not happy and she suspected Uncle Ambrose had something to do with it.

Katherine realized eventually that her uncle didn’t intend to acknowledge her. Unable to stand the tension any longer, she said, “Uncle Ambrose, you sent for me?” Chancing another quick glance at the Highlander she saw his grim expression replaced first by confusion, followed very quickly by anger.

Turning her attention back to Uncle Ambrose, his barely concealed glee worried her. Finally he answered her, “Yes, Katherine, my darling, we have received a missive from the king and it concerns you.”

This is definitely not good. She carefully kept her emotions masked. “Me?” she asked calmly.

“Yes, my sweet. This is Niall MacIan, Laird of Clan MacIan,” he said, gesturing to the angry warrior she had eyed, “and the commander of his guard, Diarmad. Our king has requested that you become Laird MacIan’s wife.” Katherine took a breath and, with supreme will, continued to appear calm and emotionless.

“Requested that I become his wife?” she asked slowly.

“Of course, my dear, it is a request.”

“I can decline this request?

“Of course you can, Katherine. However, His Majesty says if you choose to decline, it is in your best interest, and the best interests of Clan Ruthvan, for me to be named Lord Ruthvan and for you to enter the religious life.”

“And what happens to Cotharach and my people if I accept the proposal?” she asked, a note of panic creeping into her voice.

A look of smug satisfaction crossed her uncle’s face, and he spoke to her as if she were a very dull child.

“Oh, my dear, I have bungled this badly. I will start over and try to help you understand. His Majesty feels it is in the best interests of Clan Ruthvan for me to assume control as Lord Ruthvan and rule Cotharach. He is giving you two options. The one His Majesty prefers is for you to marry Laird MacIan and go with him to his home in the Highlands. As your husband, Laird MacIan will renounce his claim to your title and lands. In return, he will receive an exceedingly generous dowry. However, if this is not acceptable, you may choose to enter the religious life. The good sisters will receive a modest dowry, but His Majesty has determined that Laird MacIan will still receive the bulk of your dowry because of his willingness to aid his king in this matter. Does that make it clear, my dear?”

Katherine felt as if she had descended into swirling chaos and she trembled. Trying not to reveal her inner turmoil, which would add to his pleasure, she bowed her head and whispered, “Aye, uncle. I understand.”

After a moment, she looked directly into the eyes of each of the three men staring at her. In Uncle Ambrose’s expression she read joy, in Diarmad’s, pity, and in Laird MacIan’s, iron determination. She wanted to run—she needed to think.

Her uncle prodded, “Well, dear, which will it be?”

“You want a decision now? Am I to be given no time to consider this?”

In a colder, less unctuous voice, Uncle Ambrose said, “You must choose now. You can leave for the convent within the hour or, if you choose marriage, we will summon Father James and you can be married as soon as he arrives. Laird MacIan is anxious to return to the Highlands, so he wishes to depart immediately after exchanging wedding vows. Either way, you leave today.”

Katherine knew her uncle had won, she just didn’t know how he had done it. From the day her father died, Ambrose had wanted the title and lands that were to be held in reserve for her husband. How had this Highlander been convinced to marry her and relinquish all but a portion of her wealth? She didn’t relish either option. Finally she said flatly, “I will marry.”

“Very well, I will send for Father James.” As Katherine turned to leave, her uncle demanded, “Where are you going?”

She glanced down at the old gown she generally wore when working and realized the absurdity of this situation. She lifted her head, stared at her uncle, and said, “For the next few minutes at least, Uncle, I am Lady Katherine Ruthven. This is my keep. I am going to pack my things and dress for my wedding.”

She turned again to leave the great hall, and for the first time, she heard her betrothed’s voice, “Lass, one bag is all ye’ll be bringing.”

36 Responses to Duncurra Book 1 – Highland Solution

  1. jeannemiro says:

    Hi Ceci!
    I just met you when you were chatting with the wonderful Karen Ranney and believe me when she recommends an author (especially one set in the Highlands) I’ve learned to run not walk to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy (or now that I have a Kindle to down-load immediately)!

    I love that you’ve “matched” a Lowland lass with a Highlander! Having both Lowland and Highland blood running through my veins I just know that Katherine will be strong enough to make Niall that together they are stronger than anyone who may try to destroy them.

    Congratulations on the release of debut Highland solutions!

  2. cecigiltenan says:

    Thank you very much. I hope you like it; please leave a review on Amazon if you do. My Scottish ancestors are lowlanders, mostly Douglas although the highlands have always intrigued me.

    Karen has been absolutely amazing. Another author, Donna MacMeans, suggested that I contact her. Her kindness and generosity has been humbling.

  3. jeannemiro says:

    Ceci –

    And don’t forget that not only is Karen a great author and mentor she is also “owned” by the best dog in the world – the amazing Flash!

  4. cecigiltenan says:

    Yes, I have heard some of the Flash stories. I have two best friends of my own. Louis is a black miniature poodle and Coco is a café au lait standard poodle (you can see her in some of my pictures). They are always beside me while I work. Well Louis is at any rate. Coco usually finds a comfortable chair nearby. If you look back to some of my early blogs this year, you will see how Coco joined our family.

    • jeannemiro says:

      Ceci –

      During my lunch break I got a chance to check out your blog and I loved your post about Chase. I had the same feeling as you when our beloved Kilty died. He was a Kerry Blue terrier who had no problem running our household!

      My husband had “he thought” finally found the “perfect” dog for our family – one who would love being outside near our sons. Unfortunately no one told Kilty that he was suppose to love the outdoors! In fact it wasn’t until years later when we had a Spanish Soccer playing exchange student join our household for a year that he would venture out (okay manage to get the door open) and run outside – to eat soccer balls! We didn’t realize until then that fancy “doggy” toys just wouldn’t do but a soccer ball would entertain him for hours!

      Kilty loved everyone but he hated whenever I’d leave the house. While it was hard to drag him outside for a walk if he heard me pick up my car keys he push out the door ahead of me and bite the tires of my car to try to make me stay home!

      I hope someday to read one of your stories and have a very special poodle be included in memory of Chase!

  5. cecigiltenan says:

    There is already a special poodle in a novel that was underway before Chase passed away, his name was Max and he was Chase’s predecessor. I think Chase may appear as a human, an unconditionally loving, exceedingly tolerant uncle. Maybe he will be in a fairy godfather role. We will see.

    • jeannemiro says:

      Oh Ceci I love the idea of Chase (n human form) being a fairy godfather! My husband always kids me that he wished sometimes our sons had as much “spunk” as our Kilty did!

  6. ann leeson says:

    Really looking forward to receiving my copy of your book, congratulations and good luck for the future, I will be avidly waiting

  7. Sharlene Wegner says:

    Loving the sound of this book! Can’t wait to read it!

  8. ann leeson says:

    Just finished Highland Solution, it was riveting, I couldn’t put it down, and I am really looking forward to reading more from you. For a new author I think you should be immensely proud of yourself because it was an awesome book, congratulations.
    Tried leaving a review on Goodreads but it couldn’t find your book, but never mind it’s on Amazon UK, Facebook and Twitter and of course to all my friends who like a good read but are not on social network sites

    Thanks Ceri

  9. Sylvia says:

    Meet you @ my father in laws funeral (Matt Lukach.) I’m looking forward in reading your book & much success in future writings.

  10. Krista says:

    I read this in one night!!! I need another please???!!!

  11. cecigiltenan says:

    I’m working on it! Tell your friends. I would love for you to leave a review on Amazon or elsewhere. ❤

  12. Annie Khemraj says:

    Hi Ceci!

    I absolutely low your debut novel “Highland Solution”. I can’t wait to read more of your upcoming Highland stories. I do hope you do continue to write about a couple characters from Highland Soluion. I’m definitely interested in reading Fingal & Tadhg stories!

    Kind Regards,
    Annie 🙂

  13. cecigiltenan says:

    Thank you Annie! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I love hearing from readers! I always encourage people to leave reviews on Amazon if they feel comfortable doing that. I am currently finishing Tadhg’s story (Highland Courage) and Fingal’s is mapped out as well. I will post updates here so stay tuned.
    Warmest regards,
    Ceci

  14. Karla Roche says:

    Hello Ceci,
    I have just finished Highland Solution and found it to be an awesome book. It was well written and read smoothly. I am so looking forward to your next book. When will it be available on Amazon?

    Sincerely,
    Karla

  15. julie says:

    Hi Cici I have just finished reading Highland Solution and was wanting to know if there will be another book in this Series.

  16. cecigiltenan says:

    Hi Julie,

    Yes, there will be series. The second book, Highland Courage, will be released in April and tells Tadhg Matheson’s story. The third book which is currently in process (and doesn’t have a title yet) focuses on Fingal MacIan. I am hoping to release it next fall. I will be posting the synopsis for Highland Courage soon.

    I have been asked if I plan to tell Tomas’ story and I might just do that.

    All the best,
    Ceci

    • julie says:

      Thankyou so much for answering my question and please keep me informed of the release dates of these next books. Until next time Julie

      • cecigiltenan says:

        You are very welcome. I am glad you enjoyed Highland Solution (tell your friends ;-)). Please feel free to “like” my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cgiltenan and/or follow me on Twitter @cecigiltenan. I am rather new to this and don’t have many followers. I giggle every time I get a new one. I think I am up to a whopping 70 followers on Facebook. 😉

        All the best,
        Ceci

  17. Giuliana says:

    I loved this book! Highlander novels are the best! I couldn’t even sleep, I had to finish! So well written and such an delicious story. Hope to read more things from you! Can hardly wait!

    Love,
    Giuliana, your greatest fan from Brazil 🙂

    • cecigiltenan says:

      Dear Giuliana,
      I am so glad you loved it! It thrills me to hear that. Be sure to tell your friends (and leave a review on Amazon site!).

      I didn’t know I had any readers in Brazil :-D. It is so exciting to hear that. I wasn’t sure anyone outside my family would read it. I am frankly speechless when I learn about fans all over the world.

      The next book in the series, Highland Courage, is about Tadhg Matheson and will be released in April. I will post more information about it here soon.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Ceci

  18. jules says:

    Hi Cici
    I’ve posted on fb/friends – fingers crosssed, I love this time of the year when things slow down enought to spend some leisure time reading, reading & reading 🙂

  19. cecigiltenan says:

    Thanks for sharing Jules and Good luck!

  20. Annie Khemraj says:

    Hi Ceci!

    I totally forgot to tell you. I got my granny to read Highland Solution and she’s been so thrilled after reading it, she cannot wait for the second and third parts of this series. We both absolutely love Fingal so much, we’re counting down the days when we can read his story!

    My granny plans to buy the paperback and send it to her sisters in the Caribbean! The only thing is, the paperback is not available on the Canadian Amazon website, so hopefully it will pop up soon and I can order a few to send back home!

    I can’t tell you how much I love your book myself and waiting patiently for the other ones to be released 🙂

    Cheers!

    Regards,
    Annie Khemraj

  21. juleskz says:

    Hello Ceci
    I was so shocked & truly excited to have Won a copy of Highland Solution. I could not put it down – and read the entire book the first day. I cannot wait for the next of the series Highland Courage. Bravo Bravo

  22. cecigiltenan says:

    Hi Jules,
    Thank you. I absolutely love hearing that people enjoy reading Highland Solution! When I finished it and found a publisher, my biggest fear was hearing that people hated it. I’m sure you will love Highland Courage too.

    I was told that the single best marketing tool is word of mouth so please tell your friends!

    Ceci

  23. kelihasablog says:

    Oh that’s it… I have bought your books! I just didn’t realize you were here as well as FB. Fantastic books! I haven’t finished reading them both, but I just can’t imagine anyone not loving them! 😀

  24. Tina Hairston says:

    Hey, Ceci! I’m in the middle of a binge read for this series. I’m almost kicking myself that I waited so long to do so as you kindly gifted me, Highland Intrigue at a FB party but I’m equally glad I didn’t read them right away so I could savor them. I’m loving all of the characters and will be starting on Highland Intrigue today while I finish laundry and then I’ll sulk until I get more books from you.

    Write quickly, lol 🙂 Great job!

  25. cecigiltenan says:

    Thank you so much for your kinds words. I did see your reviews on Amazon and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated them. While you were in “binge read” mode, I have been in “binge write” mode. I am almost finished with Highland Echoes and hope to release it in may. It picks up with the story of a minor character in Highland Revenge (my novella in Highland Winds – The Scrolls of Cridhe). They are completely independent “stand-alone” stories, but you might enjoy Highland Revenge if you haven’t read it.
    ❤ Ceci

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