Land of My Dreams book excerpt:
Selected scene from Chapter 3:
Driving toward their hotel, they saw Kieran ambling down the street, carrying a duffle bag and bundled in sweats. Janet pulled over. “Co-ghàirdeachas, old friend. You outdid your young competitors again.”
“Aye, it’s more difficult every year, though.” The hair curling in damp ringlets around his face fit better with the tender side Janet portrayed in telling about his wife and infant son than with the brute strength he exhibited in competition. Bonny wondered how it would feel to run her fingers through those curls. Get ahold of yourself, girl. You don’t even know the man.
“Do you want a ride to your car?” Janet asked.
“Thanks, but I’m parked ‘round the corner.” He pointed a short distance ahead. “I’m driving to Beauly to visit my parents.”
Janet grasped the hand he held out. “Tell them hello. I thought Brennan Grant looked like he might carry on the grand tradition of champions from Fort William. He’s a tough competitor.”
Kieran shook his head. “Brennan’s a nice lad, but he’ll never replace me as the greatest champion ever to come out of Lochaber.”
“That seems a bit presumptuous. Janet said it’s only his first year in competition.” Bonny hadn’t intended to say it out loud. His high opinion of himself sounded just like Adam. Did a big ego always have to accompany the good looks and athleticism she found attractive?
Janet turned and glared at her with narrowed eyes. “I’ve been explaining the games to Bonny all day.”
“Dr. Bryant.” He bent to peer farther into the car. “I wasn’t aware you were an expert on our Highland Games.”
“I’m not, but it seems you would be glad to see a young competitor from your part of the country following in your footsteps.” Bonny felt the heat rising to her cheeks.
“Just because he’ll never best me doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a decent competitor. I just don’t see the same fire in his belly I had at his age.”
“You have to admit he did himself proud with the caber today.” Janet spoke up to Bonny’s relief.
“Aye, he’s passable. He doesn’t have the stomach for hard work, though. He’s been working on the farm part-time. I should know.” Looking right at Bonny, Kieran grinned, apparently enjoying their little tete-à-tete.
“You seem to have a very high opinion of your own accomplishments, Dr. MacDonell.” Just like Adam. Well, she needn’t waste any more time dwelling on him, no matter how much she was attracted by his physical attributes. Never again would she allow what met the eyes to blind her to the man inside.
With a loud boom of thunder, the sky opened up again. Kieran smiled, his gaze meeting Bonny’s. “It was nice talking with you, Dr. Bryant, Janet.” He paused, nodding at each one as he spoke. “I’d better head to the car before I’m drookit. Guid eenin.”
Janet rolled up the window and turned to Bonny before she headed up the street. “What was that about?”
Bonny shook her head. “He may be your friend and a great competitor, but I prefer a man with a less-exalted opinion of his abilities.”
“He’s not like that at all, Bonny. He’s sweet and humble, and he’s right.” Janet steered through the crowded street in the direction of their hotel. “Brennan isn’t the competitor Kieran was, but he’s the best Fort William has at the moment.”
“Have you known Kieran long? You two talk as if you were good friends.”
“Oh, aye, since we were children. He’s a dear friend. I sometimes think he’ll spend the rest of his life alone. He still grieves and only someone special will succeed in breaching the fortress he’s built. All the women envied what he and Bronwyn had. A love like that is worth waiting for.”
“I envy people who find their soul-mates, as if they’re two halves of the same person. I don’t believe a love like that is out there for me.” Bonny turned her face to the window, trying to control the emotions warring in her mind. Kieran was an attractive man, but she would just as soon not spend time around him after what she just heard.
“You came down kind of hard on him. I think you two would discover a lot in common if you ever got to know each other.”
“He reminds me of someone I prefer not to think about anymore. That’s all.”
Turning into the car park at the Deeside Hotel, Janet said, “I hope you don’t mind sharing a room. There aren’t a lot of hotels in these small towns.”
“Oh, no problem.” As long as I don’t have to listen to her talk about Kieran all evening. I got that out of my system.
Janet set her suitcase under the window, turned down the spread, and curled up on the pillows at the head of her bed. She crossed her arms and cocked her head to one side. “You mentioned there had been someone special once. Would I be prying if I asked what happened?”
Bonny busied herself straightening her suitcase. “In one year, my life changed much more than it did when I moved to Scotland. I can heal and grow stronger here, away from the reminders. Right now, I need some sleep.” She pulled her nightgown over her head. “I’ll tell you about it another time.”
Climbing into bed, she pulled up the blankets, feigning sleep. Images of the handsome Highlander kept playing in her mind. Until today, she had pictured him as a gentle giant of strong character and commitment, able to love someone other than himself, a man worthy of her respect. It was disappointing to discover he was no different than Adam.
The next morning, Bonny discovered a missed call on her phone. A cold lump settled in her stomach when she recognized Adam’s number. She deleted the voicemail without listening. He had showed no qualms about destroying her world. It was over.
Land of My Dreams Book Blurb:
Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.
Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny returns to New Mexico for her best friend’s wedding, her former fiancé reenters her life. Four thousand miles away, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to an attractive former student.
How will Bonny decide between her two rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future?
Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.
About the author:
Norma Gail is the author of the Christy Award nominated contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.
Connect with Norma:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbZIoC_JSE
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore: http://store.lpcbooks.com/product/land-of-my-dreams/