A wonderful Holiday novella!!

Once Upon A Highland Christmas II Final


Official bio:




A - SE - Sue-Ellen Bio PixSue-Ellen Welfonder is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes Scottish medieval romances for Grand Central Publishing. As time allows, she also writes as Allie Mackay, penning contemporary paranormals, mostly set in the Scottish Highlands.




Her twenty-year airline career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned. She spent fifteen years living in Europe, using that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles, as possible. Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye. She still visits Scotland when she can as such trips give her inspiration for new books.




Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies and never misses a chance to attend Highland Games. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, nature, and animals. She enjoys long walks and bicycling, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.




Unofficial Bio:




I’m proudly old-fashioned, listen to classical and New Age music as I write, I live, breath, and dream medieval Scotland, and enjoy living quietly.  Shabby chic suits me better than glitz and glam.  Hate shopping except bookstores and thrift shops.  I believe in Highland magic and love whimsy.  I’m also convinced some people are born out of time and place, and am sure I’m one of them.




If I wasn’t writing, I’d be out in the field fighting for animal rights, rescuing stray cats and dogs, saving whales and seals, hugging trees, and going ghost-hunting, always searching for a time portal to sweep me out of this world and back to medieval Scotland.







Hello Everyone!  Special thanks to WendyK and April for hosting me today.  My holiday novella, Once Upon A Highland Christmas releases on Dec. 3rd, so I’m thrilled to celebrate at My Book Addiction and More.




Once Upon A Highland Christmas II FinalBy now, you may have seen the novella’s official blurb.  Chances are you haven’t seen the one I wrote.  Publishers do these back cover snippets, not the authors.  Yet who knows the story better than the writer?  As I was waiting for my publisher to send me their official blurb for the novella, I did my own.  I think it gives a good feel for Once Upon A Highland Christmas, a magical holiday tale about two unlikely lovers and set in the enchanted world of the Highlands at Christmas.




Here is my blurb…




In A Magical Season…




As a lass who has lost everything, Breena O’ Doherty’s only wish for Christmas is to brighten the holidays at her new Highland home, Duncreag Castle, where the MacNab laird is determined not to celebrate.  Hoping to bring joy to the clan she dearly loves, she’s stunned to see her efforts thwarted by the rugged Highlander who secretly holds her heart.




Once Upon A Highland Christmas II FinalLove Is The Greatest Gift Of All




Grim Mackintosh, Duncreag’s captain of the guard, knows he isn’t a man to stir female hearts.  But he’s shocked when Breena believes he’s been stealing her festive decorations.  Having admired her from afar, he seizes an unexpected chance to kiss her beneath the mistletoe.  His boldness spurs a quest to bring Christmas cheer to Duncreag.  Together, they travel across the sparkling, snow-clad hills where passion soon blazes between them.  But more than holiday magic is afoot in the Highlands.  Can their love survive a secret danger from the past?  Or will the wonder of the season give them the happily-ever-after they deserve?








In Once Upon A Highland Christmas, Grim and Breena do enjoy a Happy Ever After, of course.  They set off on their quest to heal hearts and end up losing their own to each other, discovering the most beautiful love.  It is my hope that readers will finish the story with a happy sigh.  The novella is also a ‘happy ending’ of sorts for me.  I’ve always wanted to write a holiday story.  So I was delighted when my publisher asked me to do one.  I loved every hour at the keyboard, smiled through each typed word.  Grim and Breena felt as real as if they stood beside me, looking on to make sure I told their tale to suit them.




I hope I did.




I do know I had fun with them.  Here’s an early glimpse of them, near the opening of their story.




Once Upon A Highland Christmas II FinalMini-Excerpt from Once Upon A Highland Christmas




Set-Up: It is late at night in the great hall.  Breena is hiding behind a tapestry, hoping to catch the evil-doer who has been stealing her holiday decorations.  She is horrified to see Grim kneeling beside the Yule Log aka known as the Cailleach Nollaigh or ‘Old Christmas Wife’ because it is carved to resemble a crone.  Breena looks on as Grim prepares to deface the sacred log, or so she believes…






     How could she have been so wrong about him?


     Silently vowing to never make such a mistake again, Breena leaned closer into the back of the wall hanging and pressed one eye to the spy slit.  To her horror, a dirk now glittered in Grim’s hand.  She looked on as he raised the blade above the Cailleach Nollaigh, clearly bent on gouging into the hallowed wood, ruining the hag’s features.


     Breena couldn’t believe his wickedness.


     Or that the tapestry’s dust and a loose thread tickled her nose so mightily that she sneezed.


     Mortified, she clapped a hand to her lips.


     Across the hall, Grim stood, shoving his dirk back beneath his belt as he did so.


     He turned her way, his unusual smoke-gray eyes honing in on the tapestry.  Breena’s breath caught at the determination in his gaze.  She’d always found his eyes so compelling, his exceptionally thick lashes.  His dark hair swung loose about his shoulders, the strands gleaming in the dim torchlight.


     His beard rings also glinted, and the silver Thor’s hammer at his throat.


     Grim was pagan.


     And just now he looked earthy and bold enough to eat her alive.


     Her heart hammering wildly, Breena flattened herself against the cold stone of the wall.


     Grim started forward, his strides slow and sure, smooth as a predator’s.


     “Dinnae think I cannae see you, lassie.”  His voice was rich and smooth, deeply burred and lowered intimately enough to send heat to her face.


     She refused to think about what it did to other places.


     Nor was there time for any such foolish contemplation.  He was almost upon her.


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Once Upon A Highland Christmas gave me the opportunity to write the kind of hero I love best: Grim is battle-hardened, a fierce warrior, but also great-hearted.  He’s loyal, a staunch friend, and he loves animals.  He’s a rough-hewn man, forged of strength, steel, and rock-hard muscle.  He isn’t a ‘bonnie’ sort and he worries that Breena would never desire a fearsome brute like him.  Breena has been through some really rough times.  She is Irish and was captured in a raid on her village.  The raiders planned to sell her at a slave market.  They brought her to Scotland and she was with them when they attacked a Highland stronghold.  Grim was in the party of neighboring allies who rid the castle of the brigands.  So he basically rescued her in the months before Once Upon A Highland Christmas begins.  Breena is strong and resilient, refusing to let bad things break her.  She adapts to her new home, coming to love the Highlands, and the clan that welcomes her so warmly.  She is drawn to Grim, but as he rarely even speaks to her, she is sure her feelings aren’t reciprocated.




I loved bringing these two together.  They didn’t stand a chance against the season’s magic.  Add the enchantment of cold and dark Highland nights, full of stars and wonder, and these two loving hearts soon saw reason.  And that brought a new kind of problem because once they accepted their fate, their love scenes blazed so hot that I nearly scorched my fingers on the keys!




But all is well that ends well.




I hope you’ll enjoy visiting the Highlands at Christmas.  Grim and Breena will make excellent guides.  If you like them, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll see them again in my upcoming four-book series, Scandalous Scots.  Grim plays a major role in the new series, so you’ll be able to revisit him and his fair lady wife in the pages of the new books.




WendyK and April, thank you so much for letting me celebrate this new release with you.  It’s always such a pleasure to visit My Book Addiction and More.

Sue-Ellen, thank you for the chance to spend time with you again, we so love you and your stories. Who doesn’t love characters such as Grim, and Breena. What a pleasure and an honor to have you visit with us and our readers!!




Everyone else, thank you for stopping by!  In honor of Grim and Breena, one reader will win a copy of Seduction of a Highland Warrior from my Highland Warriors trilogy (Grim is a secondary character in the book) and an e-copy of Once Upon A Highland Christmas.  If you read and enjoy the story, please tell your friends and help me spread word about Once Upon A Highland Christmas.  I’d really appreciate it.




Happy Holidays!




Ice breaker I ~ Eggnog or Hot Spiced Cider?




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Tartan Ink: All Things Celtic, Highland Magic, Kilties, & Other Neat Things

Sue-Ellen, you say the sweetest things. Thank you for spending time with us and our readers. It is always such a pleasure to have you visit with us.


Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel~GIVEAWAY ALERT~Once Upon A Highland Christmas II Final

(Sponsored by the author)


 Thanks to Sue-Ellen, one reader will win a copy of Seduction of a Highland Warrior from my Highland Warriors trilogy (Grim is a secondary character in the book) and an e-copy of Once Upon A Highland Christmas.

Giveaway will run from December 1 until December 7,2013.

Good luck and please, spread the word!!

As an added surprise, answer the following question for a chance to win a digtial copy of “Once Upon a Highland Christmas” this giveaway will be sponsored by the site. This is for an Amazon, gifted copy!!


 Eggnog or Hot Spiced Cider?

Thanks everyone for your support of MBA&M and our guest!!



For “My Thoughts” visit,


Now everyone go forth and spread the word far and wide!!







  1. Good Morning Sue-Ellen, April and Wendy! What a nice surprise to find your interview in my inbox this morning Sue-Ellen.

    This is a wonderful story and I hope your readers will all go order a copy at only .99. I have had the privilege of knowing this story from the first draft and am excited to see it released. It has all the wonderful components that make Sue-Ellen's stories so magical.

    1. Thanks so much for looking in here, Kathy. And for your good words. Oooh, yes, you went through the whole long path to this story's appearance with me. It was a looong road! I am so glad the tale is finally releasing. Grim and Breena are special.

  2. It was great to find you here Sue-Ellen. I love reading all the excerpts from "Once Upon a Highland Christmas" It is getting more difficult to wait for the Dec. 3rd release.

  3. WendyK and April, thank you so much for inviting me here today. I love visiting My Book Addiction and More and love the two of you so much! You've been such a big part of my entire career path, both of you. I've appreciated your support so much.

    Everyone, many moons ago, WendyK and April persuaded me to make my very first guest blog appearance. That was way back before the Internet really took off and I was determined to keep off-line. Their kindness and love drew me out of my writer's cave. I had such a good time at that first visit here, and all follow-up visits. Thank you, WendyK and April!

    Everyone else, thank you for dropping by. A new release is always exciting and I love Grim and Breena so much. It is good of you to help me celebrate their story's launch. I'll look in later this evening to say hello to everyone who comments.

    Good luck in the drawing!

  4. Oh I forgot the ice breaker. I love them both but will go with hot cider in honor of the picture you have posted on Tartan Ink today.

    1. I love everything. Ha ha. Hot cider would be good outside. I also love Gluehwein, hot spiced German Christmas wine (red), but left it out of the choices because I doubted it would be very well known. It's served at the Christmas markets in Germany and I always loved it so much. Perfect on a frosty winter evening. 🙂

  5. I am so excited about the "Once Upon a Highland Christmas" upcoming arrival to my nook. I love Christmas stories and to have a Scottish one makes it even better. The cover is absolutely terrific! Living in AZ, it is great to be able to escape to a castle surrounded with snow. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

    1. Thank you so much for looking in here, Sandy! I really appreciate it, and am so glad you're excited about Grim and Breena's story. 🙂 I'm with you in longing for a snowbound Highland castle! The novella will take you there. (Love AZ, too, btw) 🙂
      Happy Holidays!

  6. I love everything Scotland and yet have never been there. 🙂 But hopefully. 🙂
    Thanks for the interview, I enjoyed it very much. I have read all your books Sue Ellen under both names and I loved every Scotsman and their ladies. The love you have for your characters is what enables me to connect in such an emotional level that I feel involved in every situation. 🙂 Thanks for this chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Great to see you in here, Carol! Thank you so much! I know you love my books (under both names) and that really makes me feel good. Thank you!! 🙂 I agree with you about those hunky Scotsmen. No other men on earth come even close. Big sigh…
      Happy Holidays! 🙂

  7. Congrats on the release of Once Upon A Highland Christmas Sue-Ellen 🙂
    I LOVE your Highland stories & Grimm's tale looks to be another winner.
    I'm a Hot Spiced Cider (with a cinnamon stick ) or Hot Cocoa (Whipped cream & marshmallows) person.

    Mindy 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your good words, Mindy! You really brightened my afternoon. 🙂 I hope you'll enjoy Grim and Breena's story, too. I love it, the tale is really magical. Your winter beverage choices both sound so good. I love both of them! And I agree about the cinnamon stick and the whipped cream and marshmallows. Oh, yes!

  8. I'm so excited about your upcoming release! The more teasers I read, the more I can't wait to get my grubby paws on the entire story! (Please do not enter me into the drawing since I have been lucky enough to win before.) I will be buying my copy as soon as I can figure out which ebook app my newly-purchased tablet will support. Heh, sorry, but I'm a hot chocolate person. ^_^

    1. Thanks so much for looking in here, Sheila! And for your kind words – they are much appreciated. I am so glad you're enjoying the excerpts so much and looking forward to the story. I hope you'll enjoy it. 🙂
      Hot chocolate is a great choice! I almost noted it, but wanted to keep the choices to only two. I love everything. 😉

  9. Congratulations! This should be a fun read. I guess I'm old-fashioned. I go for eggnog with brandy (sometimes rum, but not often).

    1. Thanks so much, Sandra! It is an enchanted story, almost a fairytale. Really magical and special. To me, anyway. I hope you'll enjoy it. I will be old-fashioned with you. Egg nog is my nr. 1 holiday drink, too. I love everything, but a fine homemade eggnog is my fave. I have a wonderful recipe and make it every year. It's always a hit with everyone. I make it with rum. It has a kick, but you don't realize it because it is sooo delicious. (when you do notice, it's too late!) 😉

    1. Hi Kate! Thank you so much for looking in. I love visiting My Book Addiction and More. WendyK and April are dear and well-loved, longtime friends. Two of my favorite people on the planet. They always kindly invite me to be here with each release. Thanks again for dropping by! I appreciate it. 🙂

  10. WendyK and April, and Everyone… I am having trouble responding to comments in here. No idea why. I just 'thought' I replied to Marilyn M and it appears as if I didn't. I will keep trying, but apologize in advance if I am unable to post comments.

    1. Well… I have the response bit solved. It was my ancient computer, I am sure. Or maybe George, my trusty keyboard. He likes to stir things up a bit now and then! 😉
      I don't think Devorgilla would cause me any hassles today as she adores My Book Addiction and More. 😉

      Anyway… I am away now to walk Em. (my Jack Russell, to anyone who doesn't know who 'Em' is) I will look in again later tonight to say hello to anyone who may yet stop by.

      WendyK and April ~ I hope you will choose the winner? I always want everyone to win and it is so hard to choose! ((:O

  11. Spiced cider for this girl, please.

    I too am on pins and needles waiting on on Grim's story! Insert heavy sigh…..
    Please don't enter my name in the drawing, I just wanted to pop in and say hi.

  12. For me its Eggnog!! As a child I knew this was the beginning of the Christmas season. My mom would make french toast and cookies with it. I cant wait to add Once upon a Highland Christmas to my book collection!!!

    1. Ah, you're a girl of my own heart, Charyn! It's eggnog for me, too. I have my own special recipe for it, too, and will share it on Tartan Ink later this month. Your mother's french toast and cookies sounds wonderful!! What a great treat with eggnog. M'mmm…
      Thank you so much for looking in here today. I appreciate it very much and am so glad you're looking forward to Grim. Isn't long now! 🙂

  13. I like eggnog and hot spiced cider but my choice for a hot drink in the fall/winter is a hot cup of spiced mead. MMMMMMMmmmmm…… nothing better. 😉

    Love you, Sue-Ellen! 🙂 (((HUGS)))

  14. A must read for me.

    I have never had Eggnog or Hot Spiced Cider. Missing out I think.


  15. Sue-Ellen, I've enjoyed reading your snippets from your novella. Love to read the whole story! My friend, whom you'll meet Thursday, just bought it after I gave her one of your books to read! Another reader! I guess I'll have to say eggnog but I haven't had any in so many years it doesn't count!

    1. So glad you've been enjoying the mini-excerpts. My publisher will be sending me on a big multi-author blog tour soon. But it launches -after- the novella's release. That is why I did my own personal countdown, with excerpts every day. Pre-orders are critical. So thank you so much for introducing my books to your friend. I will look forward to meeting her. Can't wait to see you! We will have a blast!! 😀
      I love eggnog, too. M'mmm…

  16. Loved the post! I have thoroughly enjoyed the snippets and can hardly wait until I can read the full story! I need a little Christmas magick this season. I'm a Hot Spiced Cider kind of girl. Please do not include me in this wonderful giveaway.

    1. Thanks so much for looking in here, Karen! I really appreciate it. I'm so glad you've been enjoying the snippets and hope you'll love the story, too. Grim and Breena are special. 🙂
      I love Hot Spiced Cider, too. It smells sooo good, too.

  17. WendyK and April, thank you so much for inviting me today. It has been wonderful, as always. I love visiting you! And it is so good of you to help me launch this Christmas novella. THANK YOU!

    Everyone else, thank you so much for dropping in to say hello. I really appreciate it and wish everyone good luck in the drawing and, above all, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

    **WendyK and April, please choose the winner for me. Thanks!

  18. I really enjoyed the post and I'm looking forward to reading Once Upon a Highland Christmas.

  19. I, too, am looking forward to reading OUAHC. I adore Sue-Ellen. She's a wonderful friend and an awesome author. I have all of her books in paperback. I would choose Hot Spiced Cider. And those little doughnuts that go so well with it! Glad I could drop by. It's always a treat when Sue-Ellen stops by. 🙂

    1. Ah, Mel! I love you, too!! Thank you so much for your good words. You are one of my greatest champions, dearest friends, and you always keep me going, and smiling and chuckling. Old Dev adores you, too. 😉
      Thumbs up on the Hot Spiced Cider. I love it, too. Next time we do the town, we'll have to find some of those doughnuts!! Deal?

  20. I have followed you for some time, and it has escaped my attention that you have actually attended (more than one) Highland Games! I am even more jealous of you than I was before!

    Congrats on your new release Sue-Ellen! I know you deserve all the celebration and pomp that comes along with it. So glad you can be out of your cave to have fun with us!

  21. Great post! I love Scottish tales and would love to visit the Highlands for Christmas. 🙂
    Love those covers also.
    Congrats on your new release! Thank you.

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