Wednesday 23 December 2020

Vanda Vadas is giving away a digital copy of her fabulous book — The Prodigal Laird #Giveaway #Bookstagram #HistoricalRomance @Vanda_Vadas


Book Title: The Prodigal Laird
Publication Date: 1st March 2019
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Page Length: 285 Pages
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

His marriage might cease decades of hostilities between two clans, but that doesn't mean he wants it─or his bold new wife who is keeping secrets of her own.

Roderick MacLeod arrives in his native Scottish Highlands to pay brief respects to his recently deceased father─the man Roderick blames for the death of his English mother. But before he can return to England, he is saddled with two responsibilities he never asked for: the title of Laird of Clan MacLeod and an unwanted marriage, by proxy, to the daughter of a rival laird.

Annabel MacDonald thought she had the perfect marriage; her husband's continued absence allowed her independence and the freedom to secretly hide and abet the escape of her fugitive clansmen. When the husband she'd never met shows up, she must convince him to return to England before he uncovers her many secrets, and perhaps her heart.

If you would like to be in with a chance to win a digital copy of Vanda Vadas' fabulous book, The Prodigal Laird, then answer this question in the comment section at the bottom of this post (Scroll Down)!

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*Giveaway closes on January 4th 2021.

Redcoats! Annabel froze in the saddle. She swung her gaze towards horses and riders heading her way. Her fingers curled around the reins and her throat closed off, making breathing difficult.

Roderick’s hand on her arm gave little comfort. ‘You needn’t worry, lass. I’ll not let any harm befall you.’

Was her fear so obvious? Her mouth went suddenly dry. ‘’Tis kind of ye to say so, but we’re at the mercy of their mood.’

Darach cursed from behind. ‘My palms fair sweat for my broadsword.’

‘Aye,’ growled Gillis through clenched teeth. ‘If nae for the Sassenach bastards outlawing our weapons, I’d run them all through.’

Roderick twisted around in the saddle. ‘Hold your temper and tongues, men. I’ll deal with this.’

They followed his calm lead and rode on. Annabel counted ten men. Fear made her muscles lock. What were they doing so close to Finvreck? Had someone betrayed her to the English? Did the Redcoats know she hid and smuggled fugitives away from Scotland’s shores?

Both parties drew to a halt, facing each other. Annabel threw a sidelong glance at Roderick. He focused on one man whose uniform bespoke his rank.

Roderick acknowledged him with a nod. ‘Captain.’

The beady-eyed man of solid build looked to be in his late fifties. Greying hair was tied back in a queue beneath his military hat. He cast a distasteful glance over the party of four who blocked his way forwards. His gaze lingered on Annabel. The hairs on her neck stood on end. When he licked his thin lips, her skin positively crawled, making her shudder. Her visible reaction did not escape his notice, and in response his top lip curled in a sneer. 

Shifty ashen eyes slid back to Roderick. ‘The only things to set you apart from your heathen contemporaries are your freshly shaven face and clean attire. By what stroke of good fortune do you understand the benefits of bathing and cleanliness?’ 

Annabel bristled at the deliberate insult. She heard the muttered oaths of Gillis and Darach at her back.

Roderick returned the man’s measured stare, his own expression nonchalant. ‘By dint of birth. And habit. That, and holding favour with the King. ’Tis not wise to front at court in an unkempt manner.’

The unexpected revelation took Annabel by surprise, as it did the captain. She drew immense satisfaction from seeing his eyes widen and the way he shifted uncomfortably in the saddle. Those in his company threw their shoulders back and chests out as if Roderick were there to inspect the regiment and issue them a direct order.

Seeing this, the captain swept a wary eye over Roderick. ‘Who are you? You have a dialect half heathen, half English.’

‘Aye, and proud of it. I am Roderick MacLeod, Laird of Clan MacLeod, recently returned from London and a career in diplomacy under the patronage of my maternal grandfather. ’Tis fortuitous that you and I have met today.’

Fortuitous? Annabel hoped her face did not reflect her objection to the ludicrous statement. What good could possibly come from having the King’s Regiment, however small, anywhere near his clan, or her, for that matter?

The captain responded with a derisive laugh. ‘There’s nothing fortuitous about these damned Highlands, nor meeting you barbaric people who scratch out a living here.’ 

‘Barbaric?’ Roderick shook his head. ‘No, Captain. Cumberland’s no quarter given at Culloden and in its aftermath was the epitome of barbaric. ’Tis men like you, with your ignorant attitude, that makes my meeting you worthwhile.’

Roderick played a dangerous game. It sent Annabel’s heart racing. She had to trust he knew what he was doing.

The captain sighted down his nose. ‘Humour me, Laird. What is it you find worthwhile?’

‘My grandfather liaises with your superiors and the lawmakers in Parliament. My orders are to conduct a full enquiry and thence deliver to them a report detailing the conduct and my opinions of army personnel such as yourself. I’m to document my observations, naming those suspected of corruption, senseless murder and unmitigated hardship or cruelty towards all Highlanders, no matter their station.’

The captain’s cheeks reddened in outrage. ‘And they’ve appointed you to the task?’ 

‘Aye. I’ve the advantage of being, as you said, half heathen, half English. Loyal to both the Crown and Scotland. One foot firmly planted either side of the border, you might say.’

Annabel stole a glance at Roderick. His head turned slightly towards her as if to acknowledge the first night they’d dined together. She’d asked him if his allegiance lie with Scotland or England. Whether his heart wrestled with loyalty to either country, or if perhaps he toiled over freedom of will versus duty? He hadn’t answered her directly then, but he’d given her clarity now.

Roderick made a conciliatory gesture. ‘Who better than me to exercise diplomacy in delivering an unbiased opinion on the current military climate here on my clan lands, and those that extend beyond MacLeod borders?’

He gave the captain a moment to let the words sink in. ‘Finvreck Castle, my family seat, is but a few miles from here. Perhaps you and your men will accept my invitation to spend the night and enjoy the hospitality of my clan?’

The captain’s gaze slid to Annabel. Again, he licked his lips. ‘A tempting offer.’ 

Annabel suffered the scrutiny of his leer and raised her chin in an open challenge. She sensed Roderick tense in his saddle.

‘How remiss of me.’ His tone was as lethal as a newly honed sgian-dubh. ‘Allow me to introduce you to my wife, Annabel MacDonald, daughter of William MacDonald, Laird of Clan MacDonald.’

Annabel’s gaze snapped to Roderick’s. The look he returned warned her to keep silent on the matter. She understood that he was protecting her, staking his claim and warning the captain to cast his roving eye elsewhere.

Before residing in Australia, Vanda's birthplace and early childhood years were spent in Papua New Guinea. At the age of eleven, a holiday in England sparked an interest in the days of old. Castles, ruins, and discovering Jane Austen novels inspired a life-long interest in all things historical, a passion that later kick-started Vanda's desire to write historical fiction. Subsequent travels to faraway places have served to create fictitious characters and dramas set against authentic and geographical backdrops. The Gold Coast in Queensland is home to Vanda and her husband, where they enjoy walks along world-renowned beaches or a quiet getaway to the lush hills of the Hinterland.

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  1. Spending time with my grandchildren always puts a smile on my face.

    1. You are the winner! Congratulations. You have 48 hours to claim your prize. Please contact The Coffee Pot Book Club here:

  2. Small things make me smile. A beautiful, sunny day. Birds at my bird feeder. A really good book. A really good walk. Crocheting at my girlfriend's house. Thank you for the chance to win. Michelle t

  3. The winner is Mary Ann Bernal. Congratulations. You have 48 hours to claim your prize. Please contact The Coffee Pot Book Club here:


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx