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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, and e-mail you about new releases in 'The McCabe' or 'The Johnson' 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 or Johnson books or have questions, comments or concerns, you can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/bethanyhauck11/
What inspired you to write your book?
This is book 8 of the McCabe series. There will be 10 total when it is complete.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Chapter 1. James
James McCabe finished going through the papers and supplies on the desk he’d used for the last few years. Putting some in a box to be discarded, and others in the trunks he’d be taking back home with him. He was waiting for the guards his oldest brother, Eadan, would be sending to arrive in Glasgow, just so they could escort him back to the highlands, and the McCabe Keep, Gleann. He couldn’t believe his time in the city had gone by so fast and his studies there were now complete.
He had mixed feelings about leaving Glasgow and the University there, where he’d been attending classes. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go home, James missed his family, especially his twin sister, Jacqueline. He planned to stop at Tarmon, the castle where she lived with her husband, Connor Fraser, and their three daughters. The Fraser keep was on his way to Gleann, and he planned to stay and visit for at least a sennight.
James received missives from both Jacqueline and his Da almost every fortnight, filling him in on the things that happened with the family, but it wasn’t the same as being with them. He was looking forward to spending time with his sister and catching up on everything that had happened the last three years since he’d been away, and he’d have plenty of time get to know his nieces again. He hadn’t even met the youngest, Leana, yet.
The thing that bothered James the most about leaving Glasgow was that he still hadn’t been able to track down the girl that many of the people in the city were talking about. In his mind, he referred to her as the ‘cloaked lass’. He didn’t think anyone else in Glasgow even realized it was a woman yet, but he knew. His new sister by marriage, Kirstie, had been sure of it and was quick to point it out after she saw her.
James had mentioned his suspicion to the Sheriff after an incident where he and Eadan watched the cloaked lass help a woman who was attacked. The cloaked lass had run off after giving the two men a good beating and making sure the woman was alright. James and his brother had taken the two men to the sheriff and told him what they’d seen. He could tell by the look on the sheriff’s face he hadn’t believed them, and James didn’t blame the man. James had to admit; it was hard to believe that a woman could take on and defeat two grown men without getting a scratch. He wasn’t sure he’d have believed it either if he wouldn’t have seen it himself.
James couldn’t understand why finding out more about her had become so important to him, but it had. He’d been done with his studies for a fortnight before sending word to Eadan that he was ready to come home. During that time he’d gone down to the docks every afternoon, because that’s the area where he always seemed to catch a glimpse of her, if he was lucky.
He’d attempted to follow the cloaked lass on more than one occasion, to try to learn more about her, but so far she’d been able to lose him every time. He was amazed by how quick she was when he tried to follow her. After all, James wasn’t known for his skill with a sword like his brother, Owen, or his use of a dirk like his brothers Ross and Ham. If he was being honest, he wasn’t known for his skill with a bow either, that honor went to his brother, Eadan, and his sister, Jacqueline. What James was known for, was his speed.
James’ brothers all complained when they sparred with him because they couldn’t catch him to get him to yield. He could dart, dodge and duck the majority of their lunges, and it amused and frustrated them at the same time. Although James would never be considered a small man, he was the smallest of the McCabe brothers and had trained the least. It didn’t bother him though, because he knew he was also considered the smartest of them all, and he’d never be placed on a field of battle like the rest of his brothers. His responsibilities to the clan once he returned to Gleann would be to write treaties and make trade agreements.
His mind wandered away from memories of his family and back again to the lass he was so fascinated with. He’d spotted her the last time just two days before and followed her into an alley that led towards the docks. He was able to keep her in his sights all the way to the harbor, and he watched her go down one of the piers and around one of the boats before she disappeared once more. James looked everywhere in the area for her, but only saw some men on a boat that’d been sitting at anchor for quite a while. He couldn’t believe he’d lost her again, and he shook his head in frustration as he remembered how he couldn't find any trace of her.
He finished packing the rest of his things, knowing from the missive he’d received a few days before the guards from Gleann would be there within the next few days. Eadan wrote that he’d be sending his brothers Rory and Craig along, and that they could stay for a few days, but no more. The missive also made it clear that Eadan was holding James responsible if the pair got into any trouble. He had to laugh at that line, there was always trouble when Rory and Craig were anywhere near a tavern, and that was where he intended on taking them. The pair might seem to always find trouble, but they also created a lot of fun.
He looked around the room one last time, looking for any more personal items he might have missed that needed to be taken back to Gleann. Finding nothing, James closed the trunk and latched it shut, his packing was done. He’d left out a couple of changes of clothes for the next few days, but nothing more. With nothing left to do, James decided to once again take a walk down by the docks, to see if he might catch one last glimpse of the cloaked lass before he had to leave for home.
James sat on a bench down near the harbor enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun. Summer was coming to an end, and the leaves on the trees were beginning to change color and would be falling soon. It would be nice this winter to once again be sitting in front of the fire in the hall at Gleann with his brothers and Da.
James watched the ships come down the river to unload, while others pulled up their anchors and left for places unknown. He’d been coming down here just about every day for the last couple of months and was used to the sight. He looked at the good sized merchant ship that he’d noticed sitting for longer than any others and wondered about it. Many ships came and went, but the one with the single word ‘Redemption’ painted across the back, sat day after day with very little activity happening on the deck.
James had always wanted to take a trip on the sea, but there wasn’t anywhere he needed to go that was further than he could travel on a horse. He wondered what it would be like to be at the mercy of the wind and the waves.
Then he spotted her. His cloaked lass was in the process of sneaking past the hut where the harbormaster kept an eye on the ships coming in and leaving the harbor. Her attention was on the harbormaster, and James was almost certain she hadn’t noticed him yet. He got up and made his way in her direction, coming down the dock from the opposite end where he might be able to intercept her. He cut down one of the piers, knowing she’d be going somewhere near where the boat Redemption was docked since that always seemed to be the area where he lost track of her.
James spotted a stack of crates and barrels and glanced in the lasses direction, she still hadn’t spotted him. She’d pulled the hood of her cloak up higher and was covering her face the best she could. The lass kept glancing back to see if the harbormaster was paying her any mind, which he wasn’t. The man’s attention was on the captain of a ship that he seemed to be arguing with, and his back was turned to the rest of the activity that was happening on the docks.
James found an opening in between two crates and squeezed into the space, waiting for the lass to pass so he could follow her and find out where she always went. He was going to talk to her this time, no matter what it took.
James held his breath as she went by, afraid even the sound of his breathing would make her take flight again. He watched her pass, and then matched his pace to hers and followed her quietly down the pier, determined this time to figure out where she always disappeared too. He wasn’t prepared when she turned around and pulled her sword on him.
“Go on with your own business; leave me alone,” she said to him. Right away he picked up on the Irish accent.
“Put your sword away, lass. I don’t mean you any harm,” James told her. He held his hands out at his sides to show her he didn’t have any weapons. The look on her face gave away her surprise that he knew she wasn’t a boy. James thought he saw fear for a moment, but a look of defiance quickly replaced it.
“Aye,” she said, “that’s what all men say when they follow a woman and get caught before they wanted to. Especially you Scottish bastards.”
“I would never hurt a woman,” James protested, then smiled and added, “and I can assure you that I am no bastard, and neither is my sister or seven brothers. I’m James, James McCabe.”
“What you say may be true, but I don’t like anyone following me,” she said, not acknowledging him by name, “and I know this isn’t the first time. What do you want from me?”
“I just want to know more about you,” James admitted.
“Why?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” James replied honestly, “but I haven’t been able to get you out of my head since the first time I saw you.”
“Just go away,” she said to him.
“I can’t,” James said. “I need to know more about you. I’m drawn to you, lass, and I can’t explain why.”
“There’s nothing you need to know about me,” she said to him, lifting her sword a bit higher. “Now be off and leave me be before I start cutting pieces off of you, and feed them to the fish below.”
James didn’t know if he should laugh or be angry at her words. He went with the later. After weeks of following the lass around and finally getting to talk with her, she was threatening him.
“Settle down, lass,” he said, trying to control his own temper. “I mean you know harm. I’ve seen you use your sword more than once, and I’m intrigued by your skill with it. At least tell me your name, I told you mine.”
“You don’t need to know my name, and this is your last warning,” she said, raising her sword once more into a more battle ready position. “Just go away before I show you how skilled I am and you end up skewered by my sword.”
“If you swing that sword at me, I swear I’ll spank your arse in front of whoever is near,” James warned her. The words even surprised him; he’d never spanked anyone before, but he knew he meant them.
“You like beating women?” the lass sneered.
“Nay,” James calmly replied, “there will be no beating, but a spanking is another matter, and you, lass, could use one.”
“Do you spank women often?” she asked, goading him.
“I never have yet,” James answered, “but you’re well on your way to being my first.”
James knew his brothers all spanked their wives, and all of them with the exception of Owen and himself had spanked his sister Jacqueline at one time or another growing up. He’d often wondered how they could do it, but the more the lass sassed at him, the more he understood and wanted to turn her over his knee.
“Go away,” she said again.
“Please,” he said, “I don’t want to fight with you, I just want to talk to you and know your name. I’ve watched you defend others, and I just want to know why you do it. What makes you keep putting yourself in danger?”
“I warned you,” she said and swung her sword.
James knew she hadn’t gone for a killing blow, but only one that would wound him. The look on her face when he ducked underneath her sword and grabbed her around the middle would have been funny if James wasn’t so angry. The lass had actually swung her sword at him.
“Let me go,” she said, struggling to get away from him.
“I’ll let you go,” James said, sitting down on a crate that had been left on the dock. He pulled her sword out of her hand and threw it on the ground before pulling her down over his knee. “After I teach you some manners.”
“I’ll kill you if you touch me,” she just about yelled at him, “unhand me ye brute.”
James didn’t respond but lifted her cloak out of the way. She only wore trews and a tunic underneath, so he was sure she’d be able to feel each time his hand connected with her arse, which he couldn’t help but notice was absolutely perfect.
“Let me know when you think you’ve learned some manners, lass,” he said and began bringing his hand down. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack.
“I’ll kill you when I get up,” she shouted at him as his hand continued to fall. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack.
“Then I guess I won’t let you up,” James answered calmly. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack.
“You Scotts all think you can do whatever you want,” the lass spat at him, “I wish we never would have come here.”
James gave her one more round. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack. Then he flipped her up and sat her on his lap and wrapped his arms tightly around her. He wanted to make sure she was secure enough that she couldn’t pull a dirk on him, which he was sure she had hidden on her somewhere.
He asked, “where are you from, lass? Your accent tells me somewhere in Ireland, but I can’t place the area.”
“Just leave me be you big horses arse!” she said, once more struggling to get up as she looked around to see if anyone was watching. Luckily the crate was facing the water and no one on the docks could see them.
“Name calling, lass?” James asked and flipped her back over his knee. “My brother Eadan once told me that if the lass over your knee still has some fight in her, then you didn’t spank her long or hard enough.” He began bringing his hand down again, but harder this time. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack.
“Enough, please,” he finally heard her say.
“I think you’re just saying that to get up, lass,” James said to her. “Maybe a few more to make sure this lesson has sunk in.”
“What lesson?” she asked. “You have no reason to beat me like this, and the only lesson I’m learning is that I hate you. You’ll be dead as soon as I get my hands back on my sword.”
“I like your fire, lass,” James said, “but this isn’t the time for it.” He began spanking her again. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack.
“Let go of the lass,” Owen heard a man say as a dirk was pressed to his neck. James let go of her immediately, and she slid off his lap and fell onto the dock on her hands and knees. “Are you alright, Nellie?” the man asked her.
“Aye,” she answered as she stood up and brushed herself off, “I’ll be fine. He hurt my pride more than anything else.”
“If you give me a bit more time I can remedy that,” James said.
“It sounded to me like it hurt more than that already,” the man said, and James could have sworn he saw him grin for just a split second.
“What are you going to do with him?” the lass he now knew was named Nellie asked as she picked her sword up and slid it back into the sheath across her back.
“Well I could kill him,” the man answered, putting a bit more force on the blade at James’ throat. Then he pulled it away and added, “but I don’t know if you want to have to go to the sheriff and explain that I killed a man because he turned you over his knee and spanked you.”
“Nay,” she said, her face turning red. “I just want him to go away.”
“I’m letting you go, lad,” the man said, “so don’t let me see ye around here bothering the lassie again.”
James knew better than to cause more trouble while being outnumbered. But he refused to go quietly, and instead bowed towards them both and said, “until we meet again, Nellie.”
He walked away without looking back, but he knew he was going to find her and turn her over his knee once again and finish what he started. And he was going to do it as soon as he got the chance. The woman definitely needed some taming.
“I can’t believe we’re just going to let him go, Uncle Padraig,” he heard Nellie say.
“There isn’t anything else we can do,” Padraig answered. “I can’t kill the lad, it would just create more problems than the ones we’ve already got.”
“I know. We can’t go to the sheriff with his body,” Nellie agreed, “Da would not be happy with me if that happened.”
“He won’t be happy with you anyway once he finds out how often you’ve left the ship,” Padraig answered.
“Still, it doesn’t seem fair he gets to walk away,” Nellie said as she reached back and rubbed her arse. “I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do.”
“It wouldn’t be fair to kill the lad when I’m sure you deserved the hiding you were getting,” Padraig said.
“What makes you think I deserved it?” James heard Nellie ask.
“I know your mouth, lass, and your temper,” Padraig answered. “Your Da should have given you a good hiding years ago to tame it. Where did you go? I told you again this morning not to leave the boat.”
“I’m trying to figure out a way to help Da and Uncle Tomas,” James heard Nellie say, and wondered where the two men were and what kind of help they might need.
James didn’t hear anymore, but couldn’t stop grinning as he walked away. The lass was a handful, but she was also beautiful, and he was determined to meet her again and learn more about her. He also knew he hadn’t lied, and the lass would end up over his knee once again.