Connor MacKinnon

    Isle of Skye — homeland of the MacKinnon brothers

    So, guess what I’m doing?

    Before I answer that, let me just say that the ballgame yesterday was wonderful. We sat in the infield box behind the Rockies dugout watching the men, er, game, as the Rox beat the Padres 7-0. Because it was the home opener, there was lots of extra celebration — fireworks, troops from the Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, fighter jets flying overhead. I loved the part where the fighter pilots were introduced. Why are fighter pilots so consistently snaxy? Has anyone met or seen a fighter pilot who wasn’t flat-out hot?

    My son Alec took this photo, but the seats are so crammed together that his phone was only inches from my face.

    Diane W asked a question in one of her posts to my last blog entry, asking me if I had unchained poor Zach yet. I wanted to answer that here.

    Zach, if you'll remember, is a former Navy SEAL currently working along the U.S. Mexico border as a deputy U.S. Marshal apprehending fugitives. Except that he was just betrayed by a compromised INTERPOL agent, drugged and handed over to a cartel to be tortured for information and then cut into small pieces.

    The answer to Diane’s question is this: No, I haven’t unchained him yet. I’m not going to unchain him. Natalie is. But she can’t do it yet, because...

    I have to spend this weekend preparing several concepts for historical novels to run past my editor, rather than working on Natalie's story.

    As some of you know, historical romance is my first love. I haven’t written a historical for a while, not because I don’t want to, but because there were things that needed to be sorted out. I left the publishing house that was publishing those books, but hope to be writing historicals again soon.

    Right at this moment — KarLynP & MelissaB, can you hear me? — I am working on an overview of Connor MacKinnon’s story. That’s obviously the story I want to tell next. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that. It’s up to my editor.

    I’m about to enter in to a new contract, so my agent has asked me to work up quick sketches of every historical novel in my head, not just Connor’s. I can't take that literally or I'll never get anything else done. So I'm limiting it to a half-dozen stories, some of which take place in the more popular European settings.

    I’m not sure what’s so special about European settings. Personally, I love pre-Revolutionary Colonial America, but I am not in the majority on this.

    But in the meantime, I’m playing my MacKinnon’s Rangers iPod playlist, which I love. It feels like a family reunion, except that the reunion is with a bunch of Rangers who live in my head, so it’s fairly quiet as Scottish family reunions go.

    I have several Medieval Scottish stories rattling around in my brain, plus one story set during the 18th century in England and Scotland, one set during medieval times in England/Wales, and one set during the 18th century in Scotland.

    I can’t say why, but the moment we cross into the 1800s and onward, I lose interest in history. I like the ancient world (Rome, Minoan, Egypt), Vikings, the medieval period and the 18th century. Sadly, some of those periods are no more popular with romance readers than Colonial America. D’oh! Just my luck.

    But I promise not to abandon Connor no matter what. I get e-mails every day from readers who want the rest of that series. I want it, too! I love them more than any of you, believe me, and if I have to delay his story much longer, I’m going to cry.

    I won’t know for several weeks what decision is reached about my next historical, but when I know for sure what I’m writing, I’ll post the news here.

    On another note, sorry it took so long to update the blog, but my dorkwad neighbor cut through my phone cable, leaving me without phone and Internet all day. It was just repaired.

    For those of you following legislative news, the shackling bill was introduced Friday and might go before its first committee hearing as early as Wednesday. I’m a bit nervous about that. I’ve never testified at a Senate committee hearing before...

    There could be a highlander in our future...

    Okay, back to hanging with Connor, who has not forgiven himself for the carnage he unleashed against the French when he believed that they’d slain Morgan. He and Joseph are in a Shawnee village just now, trying to forge an accord that will keep the Shawnee from fighting for the French. But as they begin speaking with the Shawnee leaders, a young Irish woman is brought into the village, newly taken as a captive by one of the Shawnee warriors to be his wife in place of the wife he lost to the British. Exhausted and terrified, she sees Connor, the only other white person in the village, and in her eyes is a silent plea for help.

    Let's eavesdrop a bit, shall we?

    "Black Feather is said to be a good man. Submit wi'out quarrel, Mary. His anger with you will soften after he has lain with you as your husband. ’Tis the way of men.”

    “He killed my mother, my sister and my little brothers. I watched him stitch upon my mother’s scalp. I’ll not lie with him. Please help me!”

    “I’ve come to forge an accord with the Shawnee. If I fail, many more just like your mother and wee brothers will die.”

    “But you must help me. You’re one of the MacKinnon brothers. I heard your Indian friend speak your name.”

    “I am the least of those who bear that name. There’s naugh' I can do, lass."

    Do you think Connor will allow Mary to be taken against her will? Or will he imperil his mission of peace for the sake of one wee lassie?

    Have a good weekend, everyone.

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