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About the author:
I've always been an avid reader and love a wide variety of genre depending on my mood for the day. My favorites include romance, spanking romance, erotic romance, post-apocalyptic fiction and historical fiction.
One of my favorite things to do is spending time with my family as I think of new stories to write. Hope you enjoy the books.
Follow me on twitter at @Bethanyhauck11
or send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I'll gladly answer any questions you may have, an e-mail you about new releases in 'The McCabe' series.
For updates on new releases, you can look at my blog on my Goodreads page at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17003489.Bethany_Hauck
I now have a facebook page. If you'd like updates on the McCabe books or have questions you can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/bethanyhauck11/
What inspired you to write your book?
I've always loved a good historical fiction spanking read, but I've found that sometimes the books are heavy on the spanking and not so much on the story. I wanted to write a book that focused on the storyline first and the discipline second.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Chapter 1 Owen
Three months. That’s how long it’d been since Owen McCabe arrived in England, and began his quest to find Emelia Scott. To Owen, it felt like he’d been there for three years, but hopefully, by the next time the sun rose he’d be heading towards home, with Emelia riding alongside him.
Owen was sick and tired of looking at the flatlands of England. It was spring now, and he missed the terrain of the Scottish Highlands. He wanted to go home where the sides of the mountains would be blooming with new life, while the peaks would still be covered in snow. He knew by now the valleys and glens would be budding with the spring flowers that would bloom into color soon. This was also the time of year when you might catch sight of new animals with their mothers under the canopy of the trees, as the red deer and other animals that survived the winter were giving birth.
As much as Owen missed Scotland, he missed his family even more, and couldn’t wait to see each and every one of them. He leaned against the estate wall and thought about his brothers and sister, that were now living in various castles scattered across the Highlands. Even though he’d been away serving the King for almost two years, he’d always made time to visit family when he was lucky and traveled near the castles where they now lived.
He was a bit sad that he’d missed the get together of his family as they’d all agreed to meet for the birth of his brother Ross and sister by marriage Angela’s new bairn. He could just imagine the fun they’d had as they spent time together. He wondered if the new baby was a lad or a lass, and couldn’t wait to find out.
He laughed out loud as he thought of his sister Jacqueline. What a hellcat she was and had always been. He loved her just the way she was though, and wouldn’t want her to change. She’d be close to giving birth herself by now. He remembered her telling them all that her babe was due in late spring or early summer. At least being a Mither had seemed to calm her down some. She’d always amazed him with her skill while using a bow, and her arrows rarely missed the center of the target. He hated to admit it, but she was a much better shot than he’d ever be. She was a hell of a horsewoman too if he was being honest. He couldn’t believe how much he missed seeing her and her two little girls.
His brother Ham’s wife, Flora, would be well into her own pregnancy by now. Flora’s bairn was due in summer. He wondered if he would have new nieces or nephews, or maybe both; the thought made him smile. Hell, the way twins ran in his family, there would probably be more than one of each.
With so many new babes in the family, maybe it would be possible to wrench one away from his Da. Hamish McCabe doted on his grandchildren and never tired of spending time with them. Owen and his brothers enjoyed teasing the man, and Hamish took it good-naturedly. He didn’t care what his sons said, as long as he had a babe or two in his arms.
He frowned as he thought about Eadan, his oldest brother. Eadan had recently lost his wife, Nessa to an illness that had rapidly spread through the McCabe’s home Keep of Gleann. He wondered if Eadan would ever get over his grief and find someone else. He sure hoped so, Eadan was much too young to be alone for the rest of his life.
Owen then thought about James, and again smiled. James was the only brother younger than him and now lived up at Glasgow University. When the family was gathered together, Owen was considered the little brother, while James was the baby brother. James was the one out of all eight boys who not only excelled in his studies, but enjoyed them. With the help of Eadan and Alastair, they’d talked their Da into sending James to University. He was proud of his baby brother and the education he was getting. Now that he thought about it, it seemed like forever since he’d seen James. Owen decided at that moment, as soon as he was able to, it was time he stopped in Glasgow to visit.
He laughed again as he thought about Craig and Rory, the twins just two summers older than him. They’d made a pact the last night he was home over a few cups of Gleann’s own brew of Scottish whiskey. Jacqueline and Ross arrived unexpectedly at Gleann that day after getting word about Nessa. With so many of the McCabe’s together for the first time in quite a while, it had turned into somewhat of a festive occasion. As the only unmarried McCabe’s left at Gleann, the three brothers all vowed to stay that way a bit longer. Of course, they had been well into their cups by that time.
Owen couldn’t hide his grin. Just thinking about each of his family members put him in much higher spirits, until he thought about Alastair and his new wife, Mairi. They were the reason he was in England. He’d made Mairi and her family a promise, and he intended to keep it. Tonight he was hoping to fulfill that promise, and it would all finally come to an end.
Owen knew when he’d left Gleann his mission wasn’t going to be easy, but he’d never expected this. He was staying and working in the keep of the Thompson family. The same Thompson’s who had kidnapped Emelia Scott almost six summers before. His friend John helped him get a position on the Estate by putting in a good word for him. That was what they called it here in England, an Estate. Without John’s help, he wasn’t even sure he’d have been able to get in the gates at Ravenwood, much less find Emelia.
John had also been acting as a messenger, meeting Owen once a fortnight and taking messages between himself and Finley Kerr, Emelia and Mairi’s grandfather. Finley’s keep, Ferniehirst, was located just across the border in the Lowlands. He’d met with John just that morning, and sent him off to let Finley know that tonight was the night he’d be attempting to get Emelia out. He needed Finley for his plan to be successful.
His plan had to work. If it didn’t, he knew Finley and Emelia’s brother Cameron, intended to lay siege to Ravenwood. Things were peaceful now between England and Scotland, but an attack on the English could quickly change that. He didn’t blame them though, if it was his sister Jacqueline being held, he knew he’d do whatever was necessary to free her. He thought about the promise he’d made to Mairi and her family, and was more determined than ever to fulfill it.
Mairi had her own sad story. Her and her sibling’s childhood had been much like the McCabe’s, very happy. But that changed when the Thompson’s unexpectedly attacked their clan six summers before. Lord Stephen Thompson had wanted to make Mairi his wife; to get his hands on the land that was hers along the Scottish border. When he’d asked her Da for a betrothal agreement, Donald Scott had refused. Stephen Thompson wouldn’t take no for an answer and planned a way to get what he wanted. He was determined to get his hands on Mairi’s land no matter what it took, including killing her family.
Lord Thompson’s plan hadn’t gone right, and Mairi had ended up escaping from the castle with her sister Emelia, and brother Cameron. The three of them thought they’d gotten away at first, but they’d been wrong. When they heard Lord Thompson’s men chasing after them, they’d separated, with Cameron trying to draw the soldiers away from his sisters. The two lasses made it to the river before the men chasing them caught up. Lord Thompson’s brother, Donovan, tried to get Mairi to go with him. She’d resisted and tried to shield Emelia from the men. Mairi had been successful until she slipped and fell into the river, striking her head and losing her memory.
During that long period of time when her memory had been gone, she’d been found on the bank of the river by a horrid couple, John and Malinda Murray. They’d made her work on their farm and eventually sold her to an older man, a traveling tinker, as his wife.
Because of the memory loss, Mairi had no idea who Lord Stephen Thompson was, let alone that he’d been looking for her since then. She and her tinker husband, Samuel, had ended up being tracked down, found and attacked by Thompson’s men. They killed Samuel and were planning on taking her back to England, until Owen’s brother, Alastair, and a group of guards from his sister’s keep, Tarmon, came across them.
After killing most of her attackers, Alastair had brought a very pregnant Mairi back to Gleann and married her. She’d given birth to a handsome lad, whom Alastair claimed as his own. Then after an accident, Mairi’s memory returned, and she finally remembered who she was and what had happened to her family at Branxholme, the Scott Keep.
Owen had traveled to the lowlands and found Mairi’s family and brought them back to Gleann. She’d been so happy when they arrived at the Keep to find that her brother, Cameron had survived, and her grandda, Finley Kerr was still alive. Her happiness was short lived though; it was shortly after that when she finally heard what had happened to the rest of her family. Her Mither and Da hadn’t survived the attack. No one knew what happened to Emelia, and they assumed she’d also been killed.
Alastair thought Mairi would be safe at Gleann, but the Thompson’s hadn’t given up and tried to kidnap her from the village. The McCabe’s had gone with Finley and Cameron and found where Donovan Thompson and some of the Thompson soldiers were hiding. It hadn’t taken Finley long to get information out of Donovan. Owen shuttered thinking about how Finley had done it, and he was glad that Finley Kerr was on his side.
They’d been surprised and horrified to learn that since the attack, Stephen Thompson had been holding Mairi’s younger sister Emelia against her will. He intended to marry her when she reached six and ten summers, which was now less than three days away.
Mairi married his brother Alastair before finding out that the Thompson’s held her little sister. She’d been so upset when she’d heard that Emelia was still alive and being held all these years, she’d suggested trading herself for Emelia’s release. Owen had been thinking about how to help her when the idea came to him, to go to England himself. He couldn’t stand to see Mairi so sad. Owen had taken a liking to her from the moment they’d met. He almost envied his brother for finding a bride not only beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside where it counted most. Owen made a promise to Mairi that night, to reunite her with her sister.
Owen knew he was running out of time, but it’d taken him longer than he thought to find where Thompson was keeping Emelia. More time passed as he figured out a way to get into Ravenwood and gain employment as a guard, even with John’s help. Most of the villagers there didn’t trust the Scottish any more than the Scottish trusted them. Once he’d gotten inside, it’d taken him even longer to find where young Emelia was being kept until she was old enough to marry. Her imprisonment there he’d learned, was a well-kept secret.
Although things hadn’t fallen into place as quickly as he would’ve liked, his one saving grace had been finding Kirstie, Emelia’s maid. By befriending Kirstie, he’d learned that she hated the Thompson’s, and would have left long ago if she wouldn’t have been assigned to help take care of Emelia three summers before. He wasn’t even sure why he’d approached her. Maybe it was the Scottish burr he heard when she talked that’d made him take a chance and trust her. He sometimes wondered what she was doing in England, but never asked. She was more than willing to help him tonight, and that was all he cared about.
Once Owen knew where Emelia was, his next obstacle was finding a way to get her out of the castle and then off of the estate without anyone noticing. That had been the most difficult part so far. After walking the perimeter of the wall, he’d found a small gate in the back that was kept locked. By the rust on the lock, he figured the gate hadn’t been used in years. It’d taken him three days to find the right tools and pick the lock, but the gate was now easy to open. That part of the plan was set, as long as no one else came across it, and relocked it before he had a chance to get Emelia out.
Owen pushed himself away from the wall knowing it was time to start putting things into place; he only had a few hours left until it was time to enact his plan. He looked up and silently asked for some help tonight. It was a risky plan and he needed everything to go right. So many things could go wrong, and he had so many unanswered questions bouncing around in his head. Did John make it to Ferniehirst and talk to Finley? Would the gate be open? Would he be able to hide the horses? Had Kirstie talked to Emelia and told her what was going to happen? He even worried about leaving Kirstie behind and thought about taking her with him. Lord Thompson wouldn’t be kind if he found out she’d helped Emelia escape.
His first stop was at the stable where he saddled his horse and another. He led both of the animals out of their stalls, trying not to be noticed, but it didn’t work. He hoped this wasn’t going to be how each phase of his plan went.
“Going for a ride?” the Stable Master asked, approaching him.
“He could use a good run,” Owen answered patting his horse’s neck. “A long ride should do the trick.”
“Someone going with you?” the Stable Master asked, looking at the second horse.
“Lord Thompson is sending me and another guard to the Foster Estate,” Owen lied, “we won’t be back until sometime on the morrow.”
“Tomorrow?” the Stable Master questioned. “Pretty late in the day to be leaving.”
“I don’t question Lord Thompson,” Owen said, acting surprised that anyone would. “If he tells me to go somewhere, I just do it. If you’d like to complain; you can talk to him yourself. I haven’t been here long, but I’ve learned not to question the man.”
“Of course I wouldn’t question…I uh…I’m not complaining,” the Stable Master stuttered, then patted the horse’s neck, “just take good care of them.”
“Aye,” Owen answered and mounted his horse while taking the reins of the other and leading it out of the stable.
Thankfully, Lord Thompson was not an easy man, and the people that worked for him avoided him as much as possible. His temper had gotten even worse since his brother Donovan had gone missing. Even Owen had heard Stephen Thompson yelling about how someone needed to find his brother. He’d heard rumors that twice now Lord Thompson sent search parties into the Highlands to find Donovan and the rest of his men.
It once again made Owen smile as he thought about Mairi plunging her dirk into Donovan’s chest as he’d tried to attack her. The man would never be coming home. Stephen Thompson didn’t know it yet, but his own days were numbered. Finley Kerr had already promised and would make sure, that once Lord Thompson stepped on Scottish soil, he never returned to England again.
He kept careful watch as he passed through the gates and traveled down the road leading into the village. Once he was out of sight of the estate wall, he swung his horse into the woods and doubled back towards the rear gate he’d unlocked just three days past. It was almost sundown when he got the animals where he wanted them. Far enough from the wall that they wouldn’t be heard, but near enough where he and Emelia could reach them quickly. He dismounted and tethered both animals to a tree, wanting to make sure they didn’t wander, since his plans success depended on a quick getaway.
Once the horses were set, he walked the short distance to the gate in the back of the keep and checked it to make sure it was still unlocked. Luckily, no one had found it open, yet, and he was able to get back inside the estate walls easily enough. He closed it securely behind him and made sure that no one could see the open lock. He then looked around one last time to make sure no one noticed him. He needed for the people of Ravenwood to think he’d left for the night. He knew Lord Thompson would figure out eventually who freed the lass, but Owen was hoping to get a half day head start on the Thompson soldiers.
His next stop was across the estate at a small hut, far away from the newly opened gate, that was rarely used anymore, and the estate castle. He kept his head down as he walked and made eye contact with no one. Unfortunately, it was too warm of a day to put on a cloak and hood to help hide him. Once at the hut, he carefully stacked hay against the back wall and poured some animal fat over it. This was to be his distraction when the time came. With luck, it would cause some confusion among those inside the walls, giving him time to get to the lass. Now that he had everything ready, he just needed to stay out of sight until the sun went down and the people went to their rooms for the night.
Owen had just wedged himself into a spot between the outside wall of the estate and the hut when he heard two figures coming towards him. Luckily for him, they weren’t trying to travel quietly, and it gave him plenty of time to get out of sight. He also lucked out, and he was able to hear their conversation. He recognized one of the voices right away.
“Do you know why Lord Thompson would be sending guards to the Foster Estate?” the Stable Master was asking another man.
“He didn’t tell me anything about sending guards there,” the second man answered. “But he doesn’t always tell me everything. Who went?”
“You’re his Steward,” the Stable Master answered, “shouldn’t you know everything that’s going on?”
“Lord Thompson hasn’t been in the best of moods since Donovan disappeared,” the Estate Steward said. “I don’t question anything anymore.”
“That new man went, you know, the Scottish one. He took his horse and another. I’m not sure who went with him,” the Stable Master said.
“And he told you he went on Lord Thompson’s orders?” the Steward asked.
“That’s what he said,” the Stable Master answered. “So do you think we should ask Lord Thompson about it?”
“I wouldn’t,” the Steward told him. “Just this afternoon he was yelling about sending another search party after Donovan.”
“What do you think happened to Lord Donovan?” the Stable Master asked.
“Either he’s still trying to get the girl, or they got caught, and are being held prisoner by one of the clans,” the Steward answered.
“Or maybe he’s dead,” Owen mumbled quietly so no one would hear, knowing that was the truth.
“What girl?” the Stable Master asked. “I thought he was there making alliances with some of the Scottish clans.”
“What?” the Stewart said. “There is no girl. I meant maybe he’ll meet a Scottish girl while he’s there. I’m sure he’s making his rounds with the tavern wenches.”
“You don’t think anything has happened to him?” the Stable Master asked. “It’s not like him to be gone for so long.”
“Even if he got caught doing something wrong, all he’d have to say is that he’s the brother of an English noble,” the castle Steward answered. “No one would dare hurt him. Lord Thompson and King Henry are friends you know.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” the Stable Master answered as they passed Owens hiding spot without seeing him, “our English King and Scotland’s King haven’t always been friendly. I hope your right, but you know Donovan, he has a way of making people angry.” The Stable Master stopped and thought for a moment before adding, “what did you mean about a girl? Is there something going on I don’t know about?”
“That’s not your concern,” the Steward snapped at him. “If there’s something you need to know, then you’ll be informed, otherwise don’t ask questions about things that don’t concern you.”
Right then Owen knew that the Steward had known about Emelia being held all this time. For that, the man deserved to die, and if Owen had a chance during the rescue, he’d make sure it happened.
Owen pressed himself further back between the wall and hut trying to make himself as invisible as possible. All he could do was hope that neither of the two men went to Lord Thompson about the lie he’d told. He knew if he was caught, he’d never get another chance to rescue the lass. It seemed to take forever for night to fall and the people of Ravenwood to finally settle. Once it was dark and no one could be seen, Owen knew it was time.
He climbed out and looked around, making sure no one was in view before lighting the straw he’d stacked against the back of the hut on fire. Although it only took a few minutes to catch, to Owen it seemed to take forever. He stepped back away from the growing flames and once again went into the shadows to hide. As the flames became more noticeable, he knew it was time.
“Fire!” he yelled. “Fire!”
He only waited long enough to know that someone heard his call and was running in his direction before springing into action. Owen turned and hurried the other way, towards the castle, and the room where he knew Emilia Scott was being held. Now, if Kirstie had done her part, he could grab the girl and get on his way back home, to Scotland. With any luck, no one would realize she was gone until morning.