Dragons of Challon series

Dragons of Challon series
Dragons of Challon

14 May 2019

A perfect Summer read....

Original 1950s postcard for The Windmill 

Where Inspiration is Found or How to Summon Thunder
Deborah Macgillivray

I leave pieces of myself in my contemporary paranormal romances. In The Invasion of Falgannon Isle and now Riding the Thunder I draw heavily on memories of growing up, of places and people that touched me in some form. Most of these people and many spots are now long gone, though they still live in those shining memories dear to me. In The Invasion of Falgannon Isle, it was the Scots and their wonderful humor, the ability to accept there’s more to this world than just what we see, their ability to laugh at any situation. Not just at, but with. I took those wonderful memories and spun a fantasy that created an imaginary isle with 213 bachelors and with only three unmarried women―two were gay and the remaining one was a woman the males couldn't court because of an ancient curse! It’s a Brigadoonish romp that came straight from my heart.

When I moved to the second book in the series, I wanted to do something fresh, not a carbon copy of the first book, so I looked to the other half of my roots―Kentucky. One reader who recently read Riding the Thunder said she loved the book so much she wished there really was a place called The Windmill. Well, in truth there was. There actually was once upon a time a small restaurant with that name on Lexington Pike, that was about halfway between Lexington and Nicholasville. Long ago, the suburban sprawl of Lexington saw the distance between the massive college town and the small southern community fade. My parents were separated, then later divorced; Father lived in Britain, while my mum lived in Kentucky. I stayed with her during the school year, but holidays and summers I spent in England and Scotland. Sadly, my parents still cared about each other, so it was too painful for them to face each other when they ‘handed me over’, so for a week or two I was sent to stay with Mum’s step-sister, until I was collected by the other parent. I always enjoyed those stays.

I got to see the beautiful horse farms in the bluegrass area. I enjoyed the small town pace, where everyone knew each other, where eccentrics and oddballs were relished, much in the same manner the Scots did. These out of way places have their own pace, and it touched my imagination. So, yes, the Windmill did exist. A horse farm was across the road from it. It had a Wurlitzer that tended to play the wrong tunes at times. There was a swim club, a motel and a Drive-in. And there was even a young man nicknamed Oo-it!

Over the years, I visited the area less and less. It hurt to see the city sprawl, the giant Lexington pushing closer and closer, until finally consuming the tiny town of Nicholasville. All its special flavor, its quirkiness was lost. Only those images, those seeds lived in my mind. I wanted to capture that timeless feeling, so thus my stage was set for Jago Mershan and Asha Montgomerie.

My stories always evolve with the questions of who and why. I see a scene in my head, such as the opening of Chapter One. I saw Jago sitting at the bar, waiting, and drinking a beer.
Who is he? Why is he there? Whom is he waiting for? Why is he waiting? He’s waiting for Asha naturally. Then when Asha enters, it’s more questions. Where did she just come from? I knew who she was basically, since she was the little sister of the heroine in the first book in the series, but the questions then moved me to defining Asha and her quirky world.

Cats seem to wander into my stories, so I wasn't surprised the nameless cat appeared and took up with Jago. I kept trying to name the black cat, only he defied being named, so that became a part of the story as well.

As for the tune Tell Laura I Love Her―the song was very popular when I was a child and it seemed play endlessly on the Jukebox at the real Windmill Restaurant. Everything is so sharp in my mind. I recall the beautiful Wurlitzer, the wallet changers on the walls by each booth, the way the sun came through the plate glass windows that ran across the front. The Drive-in showing Vincent Price movies, the scent of baby oil and chlorine from the swim club, the smells, the diner’s chatter, the Kentucky River, Lock 8, all of these elements created vivid memories within me that lived and were nurtured within my heart.

The one day, Riding the Thunder was born.

Available in Tradesize Print and Kindle

#ParanomalRomance #KentuckyRomance #ContemporaryRomance #TheWIndmillKY #BobbyBorisPickett

If you wish to order a print copy it is $8 for first edition Dorchester mass market size, or you can order Montlake Romance size $11.  Bookmarks are included.  This is flat amount which covers the shipping.  Just send me a message and I can bill you through paypal.  romance.writer.uk@gmail.com

12 May 2019

Mother day remembrance

Remember my mum, gone 31 years now.

She danced on the glitter and pixie dust of imagination, yet was weighed down
by the sorrows of her soul.

01 May 2019

Happy May Day!!

Happy Beltaine - Happy May Day

Beltaine...a welcome of rebirth

 May Day (May 1st)—and May Day Eve (April 30th) with the bonfires on high tor—is an ancient celebration in Scotland and Europe.  Great balefires on Beltaine Eve still take place today in the Highlands.  In my novel, A Restless Knight, Book 1 of the Dragons of Challon, you will see many of these customs portrayed.

The holiday is considered one of four great fire festivals and was the halfway point between Spring Equinox and Midsummer Eve.  It was a time of joy, as the crops had been planted and you could see the coming harvest.  This is a time of fertility, of the ripening of the earth. 

May was considered the month of the Auld Gods, so no marriages took place.  However, there was a big rush as June came to marry, a custom we still honor to this day little understanding why.

The name Beltaine literally means Bel's fire.  All hearth fires and lights are extinguished at dark of Beltaine Eve, and will be relit from the sacred bonfires to see blessings to the domain.

21 April 2019

Join Jon Paul Ferrara on Instagram and win copies of One Snowy Knight

Jon Paul Ferrara
is relaunching his website for
 Jon Paul Studios
 showcasing gorgeously beautiful cover art.

One of the dreams I had even before I sold was to have
 a Jon Paul cover on one of my books, and the model would be John de Salvo. 
That dream became real when Jon Paul allowed me to use this amazing cover
 for my third book in the series of the Dragons of Challon.  MY DREAM CAME TRUE (with a little nudge...lol)  I have liked or loved my covers before, but when I saw
 this image I knew it was PERFECT for 

One Snowy Knight
So, to get the word out about his new Instagram account and his coming website, he is showcasing "our" One Snowy Knight this
Easter Sunday 8pm EST on Instagram.

Call it my DREAMS COME TRUE contest.

Click to ENTER:

Go over to his Instagram  page and follow him

like and comment
And just post "I want a copy" to the thread and from the posters over the next week I will pick three to received the beautiful trade size paperback of my book (and his cover!)

So, give Jon Paul a little following love and you could win a copy!

Jon Paul on Facebook

and on Instagram

14 April 2019

My tornado adventure!

April 12, 2019
Time (EDT) - 6:45 am - 6:54 am
Path Length - 8.3 miles

Guess who was silly enough to accidentally lock herself out in a tornado?

Well, to give credit where it was due, I received no warning form the national weather service.  They called and texted three times saying high winds and a thunder storm was moving into my area.  I went outside to collect Mamadoodle, Munchkin and Maisie so they would be out of the storm.  They were already in their igloo and were not coming out.  I was rushing around finding something heavy to anchor the sleeping bag that covers the igloo.  In one of those trips the deadbolt knob shifted and locked me out.  There I was--barefoot and couldn't get the door open! 

I looked out and saw the whirling mass coming cross the church parking lot.  Then, I recalled I had my husband's keys on a chain around my neck--aware that I do get locked out and he is no longer there to open the door for me.  The second key worked and knob turned.  Only by then, I could not pulled the door open.  The force of the wind was so strong, it pressed against the security door and I simply couldn't open it.  I was getting drenched by the rain.  Then came golf ball sized hail.  Fortunate for me I have a huge porch and I got that much protection.  

It was EF1 tornado.  The scary thing only last about five minutes, but that was SCARY five minutes.  As it got past the church, it turned and went down my street and really did some damage, as you can see in the photos above.  The first house is only 10 houses away from me.

All in all, I think I came through it all barely scathed.  For those not familiar with tornadoes,  they are not measured the same as hurricanes.  Hurricanes are ranked by the wind speed.  Tornadoes are ranked by how much damage done.  This tornado was ranked EF1, the  second lowest.  Only it was over 100 mph wind speed, which would make it on the level with a Cat 3 hurricane.


06 April 2019

04 April 2019

Sadly over...

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

He is home. Candy and I went this afternoon and picked up the ashes, It;s bigger than it looks in the picture. The artist's box is even more beautiful than I recalled. So it is done. I put the Charlie Brown and Snoopy statue on top, because he was very much like Charlie Brown and I am very much like Snoopy. The snow globe that Allie Lanois sent me the Christmas before she died is there to the side. The angel looks very much like her when she was young. So Angel Allie can look after him for me. The books on either side are Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels that were his. He must have read each one a half a dozen times.

I cannot say enough good about Stoess Funeral Home in Crestwood.  They made very step easy and were so supportive.   They were just so kind.

The box is unique, a one of a kind, and yet beautiful in its simplicity--just like he was.

03 April 2019

Sad news

Some of you have been following my husband's battle with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer on Facebook.  I wish to thank the many people who answered questions about their experiences, and tried to help me on this dark journey.  Something happened, maybe his heart gave out, but he passed quietly this past weekend.  Right now I am going through various phases---shock, numbness, disbelief.

One of the last things he said to one of his doctors that how desperately he was just to sleep.  It had been months since he slept a full night through.  He sleeps now. No more pain.

This will take some time.  He was a solid presence in my world for almost 50 years. 
 That leaves a very big hole.

01 April 2019

Haint Blue and its intriguing meaning

The Haunting History of Haint Blue Ceilings

(my veranda with Haint Blue Ceiling)

Since early childhood, I have been fascinated by words and their meanings.  We accept things, repeat them, generation after generation without ever stopping to wonder why we do it.  One example of this is Haint Blue Ceilings.

If you have ever traveled through the South of the USA, and even into parts of the Northeast, you might come upon a curious phenomenon and its even stranger name.  As you marveled at the beauty of these long verandas, which harken back to an era where once ladies sat all afternoon sipping their sweat tea or lemonade, you might wonder at the terrace’s color scheme.  No matter what hue the house was painted—white, pink, yellow—if you looked up you might be surprised to see a green-blue ceiling on these graceful porches.  They are called Haint Blue Porches.  The original idea came from the word haint—a bastardization of the word haunt.  It was often used in the context of a haint being a ghost or spirit that might try to haunt a home.    

The Picts and Celts of Scotland considered the color blue sacred.  Why Pict warriors would paint themselves with blue woad before going into battle.  Blue held a power to these ancient people  as they considered it the color of the sky—the home of the Auld Gods.  The ceiling to the world, you might say.  Long before it was popular to wear white, brides often wore pale shades of blue, because they were wrapping themselves in the protection of their deities.  This also is a part of the wedding tradition we still say even today—something borrowed, something blue.  If the bride didn't wear blue, she most certainly would have carried a blue kerchief, wore blue ribbons in her hair, or her garters would have been blue.  When starting a new life, she would've wanted all the blessings she could gather.  

A lot of the South was settled by immigrant Scots, second or third sons seeking to make their fortune, and with them came many of the traditions, lore and superstitions.  Over the centuries, these customs and their meanings faded from memory.  Brides now view white as the color of choice for weddings—but they still carry that bit of blue for good luck!

In that same mindset of bringing luck to your home, they painted their veranda ceilings a pale sky blue, essentially seeking protection for the entrance to their home with the blessings of blue.  Ghosts were considered spirits doomed to wander the earth, and not allowed to move on to the peace of the heavens.  Thus, when some restless spirit might try to enter a home, they wouldn't cross a porch protected by ancient deities.  Such lore faded.  Yet, those threads of blue bringing protection and good luck linger.  Though the intent in painting the ceilings this shade passed away with long ago generations, people continued to paint their ceilings in this manner.  If asked, the rare knowledgeable person might know some variation of the reasoning.  Some mention blue is the color of water, and ghosts were thought to be unable to cross water.  The blue stopped the spirit from crossing the porch to enter the home.  I think that explanation is an example of how lore changes through the ages—and loses its true meaning.  Similar purpose, though the logic behind has changed from sky to water.  Why I still believe the sky was the origin of the blue ceilings—if they were imitating water to scare ghosts away why not paint the floors blue?  The painting of the ceilings harkens back to old beliefs that transcends centuries and centuries of oral lore.

Even later, the explanation of the blue ceilings changed to a more current view—people sitting and rocking on the veranda on long summer days, could enjoy the shade and yet have a feeling of being out in nature.  You only have to sit in a wooden rocker and gaze upon the blue ceiling to get that sense you are sitting “outside”

Behr Haint Blue Paint Hues

The haint became so attached to the blue ceilings that they were called Haint Blue Ceilings.  So wide spread was the term, that paint companies actually manufacture the precise hues with the Haint Blue name to this day.

When I bought  my current home after fire destroyed the former one, the seller stood on the veranda and spoke about the blue ceilings and how they were painted that way to make the older folk feel they were under a blue sky.  I smiled.  I think she was surprised when I called it a Haint Blue Ceiling.  I was saddened when I moved in, to discover they had very nicely done some spring cleaning before we went to contract, and painted over my Haint Blue Ceiling and made it white.  It was a hurried job of one coat, so the Haint Blue shimmers through the thin covering of white.

So, the next time you cross a porch, and glance up to see a blue ceiling, you can smile to yourself and know you are staring at a piece of history and the lore behind it—not an odd choice in paint pallets.  

Deborah Macgillivray
Internationally Published Author of the Dragons of Challon series

 and the Sisters of Colford Hall

28 March 2019

Remembering Dawn on the anniversary of her Birthday


portrait done from Dawn's last photo

We were so close, it's hard to think we never actually met.  Dawn Thompson breezed into my life, the belle of the ball - or so everyone thought.  Despite losing her eleven years ago, she lingers, still very much alive in my thoughts. 

And she gave me her sister Candy to watch over, to be my pal and constant companion.  I am facing losing another person dear to me--my husband--and Candy is right there at my elbow, giving me strength and support.

There is so much of Dawn in her novels.  I have discussed this with Candy--was she aware of how much of her was the fabric of her tales?  We both agree Dawn was totally unaware of these elements.  I recall our shared editor, Hilary Sares, saying she cried when she read the scene of the trees that were alive in Lord of the Deep.  A tree that ached to be a part of life, but with limbs rooted to the ground.  Or the angel in Lord of the Dark -- a poor thing couldn't sleep because his wings wouldn't retract.  Again, only to someone who knew Dawn closely would that make sense.  Dawn had the hardest time getting into bed every night, hard time sleeping because of the legs that no longer worked, the pain that dogged her every moment.

Dawn's high school graduation picture
Dawn's high school portrait

Never have I known someone so valiant in the face of adversity, never have I heard someone laugh at all that life flung at her.

I miss you, Dawn Thompson, but you “gave” me your sister.  Your last words to me was "Do not forget me."  How could I ever forget such a bright light in this sad sorry world?

Happy Birthday, special lady.









Coming Soon for her fans