An author friend of mine, #1 Amazon bestselling author Lucy Score, writes small town contemporary rom coms. Spend five minutes in her reader group, Lucy Score’s Binge Readers Anonymous, and it’s easy to see why her books are consistently on the top of the Amazon charts. She is hilarious, and her readers are equally enjoyable. I have firsthand knowledge of the shenanigans in her group too. Recently, I was asked to participate in an event called “Tell Me a Story,” or as it’s affectionally known in the group, TMAS.
The premise is simple. Each month a guest author has twenty-four hours to write a story with input from the readers. They choose elements such as the hero and heroine’s name, the setting, and more. The true coup de grâce of this event, however, is their “Wild Card” element where readers toss out all sorts of items which the author attempts to include in the story. You can likely pick them out from my TMAS tale below, but just in case you’re having difficulty, think “a goat midwife,” Lucky Charms, and a Scotsman afraid of sheep for starters. I managed to sneak in fifteen of their wild cards after subjecting myself to a mashup of every genre I’ve ever written.
Combining Cecelia’s historical and time travel romance with Bella’s contemporary and small town tropes, the ensuing story is a combination of paranormal, time-travel, contemporary and historical, medieval romance. I give you, Sassy Lassie & Her Highland Vampire.
“Take it, brother. Go.”
I wrap my fingers around the cool green beads as Angus drops the necklace in my hand. Only once before, the day our father died, did I touch this ancient jewel. He gave it to me and bade me keep it safe until he and my older brother returned from battle.
Angus returned, but our father did not.
Cursing myself for the mistake that brought us to this glen, my brother and I hunted on every side with no escape, save one, I slip it inside the sporran at my waist.
At a sudden noise in a nearby thicket, my brother and I both unsheathe our swords. Angus laughs, a rare sound this past sennight, as a flock of sheep flee past us.
Even knowing—or hoping—this will be the last day I ever see my brother, I glower at the man that has been like a father to me these many years.
“Do you remember that day? When Greer took a run at you?” he asks.
That my brother named our sheep was only one of his many peculiarities. Even now, as we evade the men that seek to kill me, he carries our seanair’s bagpipes with him always. Passed down from his father, and then to our father before my brother took possession of them, they’ve no place here, on our journey.
I will miss Angus dearly.
“I remember well,” I say, watching as the flock disappears into the trees. My hesitation near sheep started that day, as my brother loves to jest. He thinks it amusing that I—someone who fought in countless battles, who’d been given the curse of immortality and the ability to kill a man with nothing but a bite from the hated fangs I’d been gifted thanks to our family’s curse—was frightened by the mere sight of sheep.
“If it does not work,” he starts, but I stop my brother, already decided.
“If it does not work, you will name see me again.”
I’ll not burden my brother and his family with my presence. Every witch, and vampire, that is captured and put to death is a reminder that I, the unlucky McGregor to receive our generation’s curse, could be next. Now that the council suspects me, they will not stop until I’m found, tried, and hung.
Nay, I’ll not do that to this man who’s given everything to me. If I do travel through time into the future but fail to mate by sundown, I will not seek out my home when I return.
Instead, I offer him a vow.
“I will break the curse and live out my days in peace, as you will.”
As I reach out my hand, Angus clasps it, pulling me toward him. I’ve not hugged my brother in many years, even though the love I bear for him is greater than any other. But as we embrace now, I repeat the words more firmly.
“I vow to you, brother. I will see to it. I will break this curse.”
The distant call of an eagle means we can outrun them no further. My hunters have arrived.
“’Tis time,” I say, breaking away.
I clutch it tighter in my hand, the jewel that holds the power to send me to another time, to break the spell forever.
Truth? Or legend?
I drop to my knees, taking one last look at Angus to find out.Seneca Lake, Geneva, New York
Day drinking never fails to get us into trouble, and today is no exception. The only question is, which one of us will it be today?
The Society, as we ten girls like to call ourselves because it feels so much more official to say we have a “Society meeting” as opposed to “wine-fueled meetup,” is out in full force.
Geneva’s annual Celtic Festival, otherwise known as one of three events in this small town that is actually fun.
“Let’s count ’em off,” Abby says as we stand in the middle of the street that is blocked off for the festival.
One by one, we count, me shouting “six” when it’s my turn. It only took us four years and countless girls’ trips, plus two minor incidents, to come up with this brilliant system of making sure no girl gets left behind.
Which tends to happen on days like this one.
“To the beer tent?” Kylie, my friend and colleague, asks. One of the four married ladies among us, and only one of two with kids, she tends to want to dive right into the festivities. Technically I’m her boss, as of last month after being made director at the historical society, but we kind of ignore that. If I could give her the job, I would.
“I think the bagpipers are headed to Knox Pub. We should start there,” Charlotte says.
She makes a good point. How often do you get to listen to bagpipes?
“Let’s go there.”
Just as I make the suggestion, a crack of thunder in the distance surprises us all. A sun shower, maybe? It’s a perfect summer day. No rain on the radar whatsoever, which is a good thing since, even though all of the bars and restaurants on Main Street are participating in the festivities, the park three blocks up hosts tent after tent of vendors, not as fun if it rains.
“Knox it is.” Kylie waves us all down the street. But just as she does, I catch sight of Abby’s on the Lake. The owner’s wife is a veterinarian, and I’ve been meaning to text her since yesterday.
“I’ll meet you guys there. I’m gonna run into Abby’s to tell Maryanne about the delivery.”
At brunch I made it a point of regaling the group with yesterday’s events. Even though I haven’t lived at home, on my parents’ farm, for three years, I have the distinct pleasure of being extremely proficient with animal births, especially difficult ones. The doe and her kid would have been in trouble without me, for sure. Maryanne is the only vet for miles, and she’d been in the middle of a surgery when my dad called to tell me the poor doe was having trouble.
“Ok, goat-midwife,” Kylie teases. Originally from the city, she finds my special skill somewhat hilarious. “Don’t get lost on us.”
Being that Abby’s is a block away from Knox Pub, I’m not too worried.
“Or get into any trouble,” Charlotte adds as the group moves away. “There’s always one.”
Making my way past the crowd to the only bar/restaurant on Main Street with a view of the lake behind it, pretty much guaranteeing it to be packed, especially on a day like today, I step inside and ask the hostess for Maryanne.
“You just missed her,” she says, looking over my shoulder. “Look at that.”
Five seconds ago, it was as bright as could be. In the time it took me to come inside, it suddenly looks like the middle of the night. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
By the time I make my way out to the covered porch, a torrential downpour has everyone scrambling for cover.
I’m no dummy.
If I’m going to get stuck in here—it’s now basically hailing—I might as well do it at the bar. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one with that idea, and the place is already packed.
“Head down to the patio,” a voice whispers in my ear from behind.
The owner. My father’s best friend.
“Hey, Bob. Did you see that?” I ask about the quick turn of the weather.
“I did. Really weird. But I doubt it will last very long. You can head down there to wait it out if you don’t want to get crushed. Help yourself to the bar.”
He’s already moving away from me to assist the hostess, who’s trying to manage the burgeoning crowd. Taking his advice, I slip down the back stairs, ignoring the fact that it’s closed off with a rope, and head down to the ground-floor patio. Normally this would be the most hopping area of the whole restaurant. A huge stone bar, completely covered, offers one of the best views of Seneca Lake in Geneva. Unfortunately, a few years back, some yahoo got totally toasted at this very festival and wandered down to the docks. He fell in and was only saved because someone up here saw the whole thing.
A near drowning convinced Bob and Maryanne to close off the patio for the Celtic Festival, and the annual Wine Week in October.
Speaking of wine, I navigate behind the bar and pour myself a Pinot Noir. Sitting down, I pull out my phone and text the girls, letting them know I’m temporarily stuck in the storm.
Kylie quickly texts back to tell me they managed to get a big table at Knox. Awesome. Ten girls can be hard to find spaces for sometimes.
I love thunderstorms.
Taking my wine as close to the edge of the patio as I can without getting soaked, I look across the lake, a perfect view of my life’s dream staring back at me.
After more than a hundred years in one family, it’s up for sale. If I weren’t a poor historian, I’d buy the place in a heartbeat. Growing up in the Finger Lakes region, I know how difficult an industry wine making is, especially here in the north. And I know, because my father told me a million times, it’s a completely impractical idea. But all through high school and college, I worked at one vineyard after another when I wasn’t in class or helping out on the farm.
I know I could make it work.
“Good day, lass.”
The voice from behind nearly scared the bejesus out of me. I turn around, and forget my name. Literally, if someone asked me right now what my name was, I’d struggle.
I have no idea where he came from, but the man standing in front of me is easily the biggest, hottest, sexiest one I’ve ever been in the same room with. In total Celtic Festival regalia, complete with a blue-and-grey plaid kilt and even a fricking sword, he looks like a real-life Jamie Fraser with the piercing blue eyes of Damon Salvatore.
With a pretty authentic-sounding Scottish brogue too.
“Where did you come from?” I ask.
He doesn’t answer.
Instead, he walks up to me with the swagger of Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
Clearly, I watch too much Netflix.
Whoever hired him to work this festival deserves a raise. His costume is totally authentic.
“Scotland,” he answers.
I can barely understand him.
Taking a very long sip of wine to buy me some time, I try not to stare.
“So. You’re the real deal?”
Appearing totally confused, he looks me up and down. Way to be subtle, buddy. And he then moves toward the bar. Watching as he glides his hand under my breath.
Would it have been too much to ask for the guy to be this good-looking, with a Scottish brogue, and normal?
I suppose so.
Apparently I’m the only one who thinks his obsession is a bit strange.
Cleo, Bob and Maryanne’s normally disgruntled cat, makes her way over to the guy and rubs his leg like he’s an old friend. Wouldn’t the Scotsman just lean down and pick her up, holding Cleo like some cherished pet. Traitor. It took years for Cleo and me to get along.
When he finally stops looking at the bar, and Cleo, and turns to me, I forget for a second he’s got one screw loose. Does that really matter? The guy is a literal demigod.
“You’re working the festival, I take it?”
“Festival,” he repeats, as if he doesn’t understand. “Take it?”
I’ve never actually talked to anyone from Scotland before. I had no idea there would be such a language barrier. I can hardly understand him.
“You’re working?” I repeat, nodding up toward the street above us. From here, you can’t see much. But he looks up anyway, staring at the restaurant as if he’s never seen one before.
“I am from Scotland,” he repeats. “From the year of our Lord 1293.”
OK, this dude is nuts.
“Please, do not go.”
She’s afraid, with good reason.
But if I’m to gain assistance, I’d gladly do so from a woman such as this one. Long, blonde hair falls loose around her shoulders, marking her an unmarried maid.
Nay, I remember. This is not my time. That her hair is unbound may not mean the same as it did in the past. Some things are familiar. Like the goblet she’s holding, though it’s not made of silver or pewter. ’Tis clear, the liquid inside visible. But most things unfamiliar.
Although the sky is darkened, rain making it difficult to see far, it appears a loch lies beyond us. I am still having difficulty reconciling the swiftness with which the necklace took effect. One moment, I was on the ground, repeating the words necessary to begin the spell, the necklace grasped in my hands.
The next, I opened my eyes, and was here. On this platform. A beautiful woman in very little clothing standing before me.
Her gown, sleeveless but for two thin strips to hold it in place, stops before her knees. Her legs and arms, completely bare.
She did not seem to enjoy my assessment of her, so I turned instead to my surroundings.
But now, I am to lose her.
“Help me,” I implore.
Holding out my hand, knowing I have only until sundown and assuming this is the woman I am meant to mate with, I show her the necklace. With additional time, I could proceed more gently than this.
“My name is Calum McGregor of Clan McGregor. This necklace was given to my ancestors, descendants of the Celtic royal family through the Abbots of Glendochart. Centuries ago, the McGregors were cursed by a woman named Marjorie Buiseid who . . .”
“Was accused of unlawful practice of medicine,” she finishes. “She was banished from the Highlands. The Curse of the McGregor was born.”
“How do you know this?” I ask as she begins to pace.
“Impossible,” she mutters. “What are the chances?”
Finally stopping after a dizzying number of circles around the strange platform on which we stand, she takes a long swig of whatever is inside her goblet.
“My name is Poppy Bisset.”
Poppy. An odd given name, indeed.
“Bisset is an Anglicized version of Buiseid,” she adds.
Impossible. “You are a descendant of Marjorie Buiseid?”
“I am. That story is what got me so interested in history. Learning all about my family lineage and such. I’m a historian.”
“The term is not familiar to me.”
“Historian? You guys don’t use that word in Scotland?”
I don’t wish to remind her that I hail from a different time.
She’s looking at my hand.
“Can I see it?” she asks, stepping toward me.
Her scent, at least, is a familiar one. Vanilla. I smelled it, of course, the moment I opened my eyes, but as she moves closer, the scent grows stronger.
“Remarkable,” she says, looking closer at my hand.
She steps back and watches me, unsure. Scared.
Slowly, Poppy stretches down the collar of her dress. There, resting just above her right breast, is the very same marking.
“Royal lies my line,” we say at the same time.
A saying that goes back, for the McGregors, hundreds and hundreds of years. And yet, she is a Buiseid. Or a Bisset, as she calls it.
“You know what?” She steps back. “I’m gonna need another drink.”
“This is much better than the wine to which I’m accustomed.”
What in the ever-loving hell is going on here?
At first, I thought this guy was out of his gourd. But too many strange coincidences convinced me to at least hear him out.
An hour and a half later, I’m starting to question my own sanity.
Of course he’s not from the past. But that jadeite necklace? It can’t be real. I know my jewels, though. It’s a particular interest of mine, along with the same British Isles folklore that started, like I told him, with a peek into my family’s past.
And I swear, it looks authentic. Which would make that thing worth millions and millions of dollars. And then there is his outfit. It’s different enough to make me wonder. Does it look so real because he’s actually from Scotland? The sword too. Completely authentic.
Plus, what about the Curse of the McGregor story?
He even talked about his grandfather, Iain of Glenstrae, who I already knew died without an heir, starting the whole rivalry with Clan Campbell. Although none of it pointed to him actually being from the 13th century, except his speech. He genuinely seemed confused by some of my words.
Of course, if he’s really from medieval Scotland, he shouldn’t understand, or speak, English at all. He acknowledged that he had no idea how that was possible.
Like I said. Completely out there. But so damn sexy.
Every time he looks at me like I’m a bowl of Lucky Charms, just the marshmallows of course, I get serious jitters.
My phone buzzes.
I take it out of my purse, and Calum kind of freaks out. He looks at it as if . . . as if he’s never seen a phone before.
I punch in the four little words that will allay my friends’ worry and ensure they’ll stop texting. For now, anyway.
I met a guy.
Playing along, because why not, I humor him.
“So wine isn’t as good in your time?”
“Nay, lass. It is not.”
“Lass,” I say, jumping off the stool and heading behind the bar to grab the bottle. Actually, we might need a second one. This is one crazy-ass afternoon. “I like it.”
Still managing to wet my panties despite the fact that he’s seriously unstable, Calum leans toward me. He grabs the bottle of wine. His sword, lying across the bar like some kind of staked claim, catches my eye.
Because he apparently has no phone, Calum is completely undistracted. He looks at me. This whole time, I’ve had his one hundred percent attention.
Still making eye contact as I sit back down and continue to down the liquid courage, he swings his stool to face me. For the hundredth time in the last hour or so, I wonder if it’s true, what they say about what’s under a man’s kilt?
“Tell me, lass”—the term takes on a very particular meaning now—“about this time.”
Continuing to play his game, I fill him in on the last few hundred years of history. So is this what they mean by starstruck? Not that he’s a celebrity or anything, but since I’ve never actually met a star, this is as close as it gets. I’m talking, but my words are barely making sense, even to me. Calum has this presence. Like he fills the entire deck with his person.
What would a guy like him be like in bed?
“I like how you look at me now.”
“Do you?” I repeat his question.
Now I’m just shamelessly flirting. With a man who thinks he’s from the thirteenth century.
“Poppy,” he says, reaching out and spinning my stool to face him. If I stood up now, I’d be standing smack-dab in the middle of his parted legs. If his kilt just happened to fall open . . .
“I don’t want to scare you. But I have so little time.”
“By virtue of saying, ‘I don’t want to scare you,’ you’re scaring the ever-loving shit out of me.”
He doesn’t react to that.
“Tell me what you know of the curse,” he asks.
I think about it for a second. “Legend has it that Marjorie cursed the McGregors for all time, that one son in every generation would forever be doomed to relive her pain.”
“And?” he prompts.
“And that’s all I know, really.”
If he looked intense before, Calum is downright freaking me out now.
“I promise I will not hurt you, Poppy. Do you believe me?”
“Hell no. I hardly know you.”
I relent, but not because I actually trust him. I just want to hear the rest of this.
“Ok, you won’t hurt me. Go ahead.”
I reach for the wine glass, our second bottle nearly gone. Oopsie.
“Do you have the word vampire in this time?”
I really don’t like where this is going.
“We do,” I say, hesitant.
“My family was cursed to relive her pain by watching our family members die. Every generation a McGregor son is born who is cursed with immortality. He cannae be killed but instead lives to see his parents, his siblings, his wife and children, if he is blessed with them, die, one by one. I am that son.”
Oh man. I was really prepared to overlook the whole “I’m from a different time” thing. But this? Yeah, no.
I stand up.
But Calum stops me from leaving.
Before I can wiggle away from his grasp, he opens his mouth. And just like that, where normal teeth were a few seconds ago, two fangs appear.
Because I’m clearly in shock, I don’t move. Or run. Or scream. Instead, I stupidly stand there and look at them. My finger lifts up, of its own accord, and reaches into his mouth. So real. Where did they come from?
And then, they retract.
He lets go of my arm.
Still, I do not run.
“Do it again,” I demand.
This is not real. He is not real.
Except, he is.
“Am I dreaming?”
In answer, he pulls me closer.
“I will not bite you without your permission,” he whispers. “But I’d show you that you are not dreaming.”
I let him kiss me, despite everything that’s happening, because, frankly, I’ve wanted to kiss him from the minute he appeared.
His hands clasp each side of my head as his mouth covers mine. Slowly. Gently. A chaste kiss, and not the kind I wanted from him. Not the kind that will convince me this is real.
So I take the initiative, as one does, and slip my tongue inside his mouth.
The damn breaks.
Apparently it’s the permission he needs to consume me. The undeniable pull between us has no barriers now. My mind is having a hard time catching up with what I just saw. And if Calum is truly a vampire, and the evidence was there, in front of my eyes, this could be really, really dangerous.
I’m not a risk-taking kind of girl. If I were, I’d have taken out a loan and bought the vineyard across the lake. Instead, I’m a go-to-work-at-nine-and-come-home-at-five-and-enjoy-the-weekends-with-her-friends kind of girl.
But not at this very moment.
As his hands explore my body, I encourage them. Kissing Calum isn’t enough. I want more of him.
All of him.
Is that strange?
Bat-shit crazy? After what I just saw?
But dammit, I’m going to find out what’s really beneath a Highlander’s kilt. Slipping my hand under the folds, it’s as I expected.
Except, he’s really, really big.
And hard as a rock.
Does a guy from the thirteenth century get off the same way a guy from this one does? I stroke him, thinking to find out.
But even though I can feel him groan beneath my mouth, Calum pulls away.
Rain pelts the roof of the bar. A flash of lightning lights up the lake. And honestly, Bob could come down any second to check on me.
But I don’t care.
My hand, still wrapped around his cock, falls away. He takes it, looking at me as if I’m a big slice of chocolate-peanut-butter pie. My favorite. Especially since I always eat dessert first.
“It can be broken.”
I’m definitely not understanding. Not after that kiss.
I’m all in now. My heart knows, even if my mind hasn’t really caught up.
“My great-great-great-grandfather fell in love with a Buiseid. She was forbidden to marry him, of course, given our family’s history. But she knew of the curse. A healer, like her ancestors, she was unable to break the spell for him. She bewitched the necklace instead. Once, and only once, it could be used to travel to another time.”
His hands lift to my shoulders as I move closer, between his legs.
“Why did you use it now? Why not someone before you?”
His eyes are so damn intense. I can’t look away.
“I was being hunted. We were told only to use it when in grave danger. If I didn’t take the necklace from Angus, I would have been killed.”
I hate how sad he looks all of a sudden.
“So you broke it? You broke the spell by coming here?”
That’s why he appeared so suddenly, like out of thin air.
My stomach lurches.
“It’s broken only if I mate with the woman I’m meant to be with by sunset of this day.”
The matching birthmarks.
That I am a Bisset. And he, McGregor.
This pull between us.
It all makes sense.
“Mate with me?”
He nods. I look across the lake to, ironically, the Sunset Vineyards winery Another coincidence?
I don’t think so.
“Mate?” I ask suddenly. “You mean like marry?”
I do love when he calls me that.
“A creature such as me mates, but only once. I mean to draw your blood while we have sex. Only then can I stay in this time. As a man, no longer an immortal.”
Before the words are even out of his mouth, I already know I’m going to do it. It’s scary as hell, and totally bonkers, but I have no choice.
I want him. Need him. Like I need, well, wine. Or frosted Pop-Tarts for breakfast.
“Will it hurt?” is my only question.
My pain tolerance is pretty low.
“No. You’ll feel pressure, but that is all.”
I pause for a split second and then reach beneath his kilt once again. Calum closes his eyes, swallowing. That expression, of total and complete vulnerability, from a man like him, whose actual sword that he’s probably used to kill people sits two feet away, slays me.
As I kiss him again, Calum responds immediately. His head tilts for better access. His hands lift my sundress at the same time that I part his kilt. I’m going to make him wear this thing all the time. And call me lass, like every ten seconds.
Because I don’t wear underwear, a fact that doesn’t seem to surprise my medieval Highlander, we’re poised in no time flat. He hesitates, but I don’t let him stop.
When he stands, my back now to the bar, and guides himself inside, I think about telling him I’m on the pill and then realize how ridiculous that is.
He’s a fricking vampire. For now, at least.
Calum fills me so completely, I forget for a second what’s about to happen. Instead, I marvel at the way he uses his hips, and put to rest any notion that they didn’t know how to enjoy themselves in bed in the Middle Ages.
It’s only when he breaks away and pulls my hair to the side as he continues to expertly circle me that my heart does double time.
“I won’t hurt you. I will never hurt you.”
With that, his breath tickles my neck and then, just like he said, pressure. Like he’s giving me the biggest hickey of all time. I grab on to the material at his shoulders for dear life as his hips move quicker and quicker, his lips continuing to suckle my neck.
That whole “orgasm at the same time” thing I thought was baloney?
Out the window as my ass cheeks clench like it’s an Olympic sport. Waves of pleasure consume all of me as Calum finally breaks away, the faintest traces of my blood on his lips.
And he comes inside me with a roar that can only be described as . . . medieval.
I throw my arms around him, wanting to get closer as pulse after pulse takes me. Until finally, I can breathe again. I hadn’t even realized his hand fisted my hair until he let it go.
That’s a happy development. Rough, but not too rough. And oh so talented with his hips. Yeah, I’ll take him.
We stare at each other for a few seconds, enjoying the aftereffects of some pretty mind-blowing sex. Which is to be expected, I guess, when one mates.
He takes a deep breath, opens his mouth, and nothing.
Just two normal, non-vampire teeth.
Neither of us move for a while. Until my phone buzzes.
The spell broken, literally, Calum pulls out of me. I fix my dress as he rearranges that fine kilt of his.
Neither of us say anything at first.
“It stopped raining,” I suddenly realize.
He laughs, and I decide I like that sound. Serious, broody Calum is pretty sexy. But this smiling one is even better.
“You’ve just given yourself to me, after learning I am a vampire from the thirteenth century, as you call it. And ’tis the weather you remark upon?”
“Given myself to you,” I say, catching that particular phrase. “Like sex?”
But Calum is already shaking his head. I knew before I even asked but wanted to be sure we’re on the same page. We are, quite literally, meant to be together.
“What is this word, wow?”
Oh man, he has a lot to learn.
“Don’t worry about it. As long as you remember to call me lass, we’re all good.”
Calum pulls me up against him, my new favorite spot in the world.
“My bold lass,” he says, kissing me.
“Sassy,” I correct him. “Welcome to the twenty-first century. We don’t really say bold anymore.”
“My sassy lassie.” He winks adorably.
“My Highland vampire.” Two words I never thought I’d hear myself say.
Enjoy this story? I can’t point you to just one book of mine to read next since, as I mentioned, it’s very much a mashup. But here are some options:
- Boys of Bridgetwater (small town contemporary, get the prequel free here)
- Border Series (11 book medieval & Scottish romance, get the prequel free here)
- Order of the Broken Blade (5 book medieval & Scottish romance)
- Bloodwite (paranormal romance, Scottish vampire comes to modern time)
- Kingdoms of Meria (current series, mashup of medieval, Scottish & Viking set in an alternative medieval world)