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Guest blogger: Vanda Vadas

14 April 2019

Greetings readers and thank you, ARRA, for the opportunity to return as a guest to your blog.

The past few months have been super exciting for me. In February I received news of becoming a BRAG Medallion Honoree for my anthology of short stories, Treasured Love, and March saw the release of my second historical romance, The Prodigal Laird.

The Prodigal Laird is set in the Scottish Highlands one year after the Battle of Culloden, which was fought near Inverness on 16 April 1746. On that fateful day, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite forces suffered a crushing defeat against the English, so ending all hope of the Stuart dynasty regaining the throne. Two days from now an annual service will be held at the Memorial Cairn on Drumossie Moor to commemorate the 273rd anniversary of the battle.

Research is an integral role in writing historical fiction. Looking back, I thrived on history classes in high school. I remember sifting through reference books in preparation for upcoming assignments and projects. It was a time when school work was handwritten with accompanying hand drawings. How times have changed!

Nowadays, visiting libraries and researching online is one thing, but to visit a country or place you intend writing about, is another. I was fortunate to visit England and the Caribbean when doing research for my #1 bestselling debut, The Pirate Lord. Likewise, visiting Scotland and Culloden on two separate occasions was invaluable when writing and researching The Prodigal Laird. For me, ‘being there’ provides a rich insight and a better understanding of the life and times of people and places I’m writing about. It makes the writing process all the more interesting and enjoyable.

At Culloden’s Visitor Centre I was delighted to be able to take part in one of the living history presentations. I was instructed on how to hold and use a targe (a Highland shield), a dirk (a long, thrusting dagger), and broadsword. The latter two are mentioned in my book.

While in Scotland, I took a trip to the Isle of Skye. Wow! What dramatic, stunning scenery. I made a point of visiting Dunvegan Castle (below), ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod. The fictional hero in The Prodigal Laird hails from this clan, whose motto is Hold Fast. I was in complete awe while exploring a castle and grounds that have been continuously occupied by the same family for over 800 years.

By the end of my second visit to Scotland, I felt armed with a better understanding of an era about which I was writing. The Jacobite army’s devastating defeat at Culloden in 1746 affected the whole future of the Highlands. It fractured and dismantled the Scottish clans and led to the Highland clearances. This time in history forms the backdrop for my fictional story. Roderick MacLeod, whose loyalty to Scotland and England is tested and divided from birth, is married by proxy against his will to Annabel MacDonald, the seditious daughter of a rival clan.

So, what can you expect from my latest release? In the closing paragraph of her review, Mary Anne Yarde (award-winning author of the international bestselling series, The Du Lac Chronicles) said: ‘The Prodigal Laird is a tautly gripping romance which is absolutely impossible to put down once started. It is engaging, engrossing, enthralling and irresistible. When historical romance is written like this, there is no such thing as too many pages. I highly recommend.’ (You can read the full review here.)

Happy reading!

Vanda Vadas

You can find Vanda here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Prodigal Laird

His marriage might cease decades of hostilities between two clans, but that doesn’t mean he wants it─or his bold new wife who is keeping secrets of her own.

Roderick MacLeod arrives in his native Scottish Highlands to pay brief respects to his recently deceased father─the man Roderick blames for the death of his English mother. But before he can return to England, he is saddled with two responsibilities he never asked for: the title of Laird of Clan MacLeod and an unwanted marriage, by proxy, to the daughter of a rival laird.

Annabel MacDonald thought she had the perfect marriage; her husband’s continued absence allowed her independence and the freedom to secretly hide and abet the escape of her fugitive clansmen. When the husband she’d never met shows up, she must convince him to return to England before he uncovers her many secrets, and perhaps her heart.

  1. allisonbutler permalink
    14 April 2019 7:00 pm

    Hi Vanda, Great post! Congratulations on becoming a BRAG Medallion Honouree and for the release of The Prodigal Laird xx

    • Vanda Vadas permalink
      14 April 2019 8:55 pm

      Hello, Allison! Thank you, and I appreciate you stopping by to read my post. Cheers! xx

  2. 14 April 2019 1:26 pm

    Can’t wait to read this.

    • Vanda Vadas permalink
      14 April 2019 5:20 pm

      Cathleen, thank you so much! I hope you enjoy reading The Prodigal Laird.

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