Druids or Faeries?

It wasn't every day the faeries claimed the man your friend loved. 

So Marybeth did her best to comfort Suellen. She had her arm around her
and kept hugging her and saying “Shh, it's okay” as they walked along the
Scottish sea cliff. They passed by the iron-age underground fortress where,
in 1100 years, Robert Adair would build Dunskey Castle.

She would stay here in the distant past and support her friend for as long
as Suellen could reasonably be expected to stick around looking for
Donnan. A week, tops. Marybeth could only afford to miss one 
 more Thursday at the ’Til Two. Any more, and her teammates would find
a new darts player.

Everything Suellen said reinforced Marybeth’s resolve to get away from here.

"I ken everyone's mad at Donnan for gang off tae find the faerie horn when
he should hae been here when the Romans attacked. Wull I dae ken. But he
was ainly trying tae break the clan’s druid curse." 

This was about as many words as Suellen ever got out before she drifted off into sobs.

Marybeth hugged her and said “Sh. Sh.” 

They would walk along for 30 feet or so, and then Suellen would start in again.
"He was sae good tae me, Marybeth. Ye dinna ken how good he was tae me. He fought
those Romans off me. He killed two dozen o’ them who had taken me prisoner and
were gaun’ae make me a fort slave." 

More blubbering and sobbing. 

More of Marybeth saying “Sh.”

30 feet later:

"Donnan does na even mind that I dinna ken how tae card wool or herd sheep or
clean the skin o’ freshly killed game. He is sae understanding. I need him back,
Marybeth. Tell me they're gaun’ae find him and bring him back." 

Sobbing and blubbering and crying, the tears soaking into Marybeth's right shoulder. 

Fortunately, the clothes Marybeth had borrowed to wear in this ancient time were
thick wool. The air was chilly, but the wool kept her warm even when damp.
Something to be thankful for. No, nothing Suellen said made Marybeth want to
stay here in the year 71 AD one minute longer, let alone a week longer. 

Marybeth felt somewhat safe with Cathaleen, the woman she and Ashley stayed
with while Suellen gallivanted over the Scottish Highlands with Donnan. Cathaleen
was cool. She was teaching Ashley and Marybeth how to make herb remedies, which
were popular back at home in the 21st century. 

Marybeth was looking forward to showing off her new skills when she returned to the
future. She imagined the faces of her teammates when she whipped out one of her
new vials and relieved someone’s headache. There were also skin moisturizers the
women at work would like, and even a mixture meant to remove makeup. Who
knew women in this time wore makeup? Kohl on the eyes was apparently widespread
the world over. Of course, the Gaels claimed to have come from Egypt, so that
might explain it.            

Ashley and her old friends from the future, Connell and Friseal, had rushed on ahead of
Marybeth and Suellen. Marybeth wasn't even sure they remembered she and Suellen
were with them, they looked back so infrequently.

But Ashley looked back now, and seeing Marybeth and Suellen so far behind, she broke
away from whatever she'd been chatting about with Connell and Friseal. "Suellen,
Connell and Friseal wull get Donnan back. They hae a good plan. They wull invite
Kelsey here with a request tae talk. She always has the faerie axe with her. If she
does na give it back, they wull surround her and take it by force."

The path wasn't wide enough for all three of them to walk side-by-side, and Suellen
was already latched onto Marybeth, so Ashley walked in front of them, having to
turn her head once in a while to see the expression on Marybeth's face. She did now.

Marybeth frowned. "Dinna ye think it wrong, tae grab the faerie axe by force?”

Ashley batted the air as if what Marybeth had said was dismissible. "The faeries gave it
tae Ciaran, who gave it tae John. Kelsey stole it from John. 'Tis na wrong for John tae
steal it back from her."

Connell and his brother Friseal were back with them now.

Connell stuck his chest out and his chin up in a show of bravado. "Darn straight,
‘twas stolen from us. Kelsey's gotten full o’ herself, syne she went off tae
Celtic University. That, or she has been brainwashed by all those Druids. We used tae
be friends, but now she's gone tae far. We wull be taking that axe back from her sae
we can save Donnan. End o’ discussion."

Pre-order Druids or Faeries now!

Jane Stain's Dunskey Castle Books Family Tree

The Family Curse

In 1435, Sean MacGregor, as yet childless, settled a gambling debt by selling every fourth-born son of his descendants into slavery to a druid. This druid later founded Celtic University and recruited other druids to be its staff. The staff recruited the MacGregors to run time travel errands for them. Crossed out names indicate deceased clan members.

Sean's great grandson Ailde's offspring, 1500s:
Bran - Osgar - Gordon - Dall

Dall and his first wife's offspring, 1500s:
Peadar - Peigi (girl) - Dombnall

Dall & Emily's offspring almost 30 years ago: 
Twins: Tomas - Tavish

Peadar & Evangeline's offspring almost 30 years ago:
Twins: Michael (Meehall) - Gabriel (Connell)
Twins: Jeffrey (Friseal) - Johnathan (Eoin) (Drest)

Because Peadar came to the future when he was grown up

Peadar and his father, Dall, are the same age and his sons are close to the same age as their uncles. These six boys (Tavish, Tomas, Meehall, Connell, Friseal, and Eoin) grew up together at their parents’ Renaissance faire. In their teens, they all had steady girlfriends whom they broke up with ‘for their own good’ when they all were told of The Family Curse on Tomas and Tavish’s 18th birthday.

Teen couples at the Renaissance Faire

Tomas & Amber
Tavish & Kelsey
Michael (Meehall) & Sarah
Gabriel (Connell) & Ashley
Jeffrey (Friseal) & Lauren
Johnathan (Eoin) (Drest) & Jaelle

Peadar’s little brother, Dombnall, was the great-something grandfather of Ciaran, Baltair, and Donnan. Donnan's book is Time of the Fae.

Donnan's MacGregor Clan, now living in 71 AD

Dall’s brothers, Bran and Osgar, and their offspring, and so on

Bran’s offspring:
Gordon - Fiona (girl) - Brigid (girl) - Earnan - Drost
Plus many grandchildren

Osgar’s offspring:
Mara (girl) - Ros - Colleen (girl) - Ninean - Mungan
Plus many grandchildren

Where you can find each character


Druid Magic box set 

Individual books: Tavish, Seumas, Tomas,
Also about Kelsey, Amber, Sasha, Deirdre, and Galdus the possessed dagger

RenFaire Druids box set

Individual books: Renaissance Faire, Renaissance Festival, Renaissance Man
About Dall, Emily, Peadar, Evangeline (Vange) and their babies: Tavish, Tomas, Michael, Gabriel, Jeffrey, and Johnathan

Celtic Druids box set

Individual Books: Time of the Celts, Time of the Picts, Time of the Druids
Jaelle, Johnathan, Breth, Taloran, Deirdre, and Galdus the possessed dagger

Druid Dagger box set

Individual Books: Leif, Taran, Luag
Also about Lauren, Jessica, Katherine, and Galdus the possessed dagger

Druid History (box set coming July 2019)

Individual books: Meehall, Ciaran, Baltair
Also about Sarah, Nadia, Ellie, and Connell

Druid Defeat (box set coming December 2019)

Individual Books: Time of the Fae, Druids or Faeries (May 2019), Time for the Clan (July 2019)
Donnan, Suellen, Connell, Ashley, Friseal, Marybeth, and everyone else above (Grand Finale)

Druid in a Dagger


Lauren has Galdus the druid dagger in my new book:
Leif, by Jane Stain.

Galdus has promised Lauren time-travel adventures in auld Scotland. She's so giddy with excitement that she tricks her two best friends from work into going with her.

Katherine the sales guru talks them into staying at the tiny town's manor house, and Leif, the laird of the manor, has a thing for Jessica, so all is going well, right?

But Galdus is getting controlling. He won't let Lauren talk sometimes, and he has started giving her orders!

Lauren got Galdus from a Pictish woman named Deirdre when a real-life human druid named Alistair took Lauren back to the first century in my book:
Time of the Druids, by Jane Stain.

Deirdre found Galdus inside a ring of standing stones when she was only six years old in my book:
Seumas, by Jane Stain.

Here is a deleted scene from Leif 

The book didn't take this direction, but it could have, so easily.

Leif struck the bed under Taran’s shoulder, shaking him awake.

"Welcome home. Dinna take this question amiss, but I need tae ken: hae ye touched Lauren? Any kind o’ touch?"

Taran’s face hardened.

“Ye hae na fortress tae guard in that respect, Leif. Ye are getting on quite friendly with Jessica yer ownself."

Leif quickly shook his head no.

"Nay. Listen, Lauren has a druid inside yon dirk she carries. Jessica suggested I question this druid through Lauren, tae find out what the druids want."

Taran went up on his elbows and scooted himself so that he was sitting up in the bed, rubbing his bleary eyes.

“Can ye say all that again? For I am not at all certain I heard ye correctly."

“Aye, a druid bides in Lauren's dirk. We dinna ken if it follows the druids who visit sickness upon oor toon. We need tae find out. And there's the rub: through bodily contact with Lauren, the dirk druid can hear her mind. And the minds of anyone she ever touched, when they be nearby. Sae I ask ye again: hae ye touched her? Dinna mistake yer answer. Dinna hide anything.."

Taran’s eyes were clear now.

"I would hae said she didna even know I was following her, but now I am na sae certain. Howsoever, aye, there has been na contact between us."

Leif relaxed.

“Good. Good, see that ye keep it that way until we hae oor answers."

Taran tilted his head so that he was looking up at Leif through his raised eyebrows.

"Ye got this from Jessica? Is na the lass in fevered delirium?"

Leif tried his best to convey his sincerity to his brother with his eyes and the firm set of his mouth.

"I thought sae at foremaist. Howsoever, she was lucid when she telt me about Lauren's dirk. I believe her, sae much sae that I plan tae question Lauren about what these druids want and how we can save the lives o those in oor village. And jessica's life."

Taran reached out his arm.

Leif grasped Taran’s forearm while Taran grasped his. It was the warrior’s agreement. Neither of them would break this oath.

Taran gave Leif a mischievous smile.

"I ken just the setting for questioning Lauren: the barley field."

Leif smiled back.

"Ye resent being oot in the field while I'm with the villagers doing battle drills, aye?" 

Taran shook his head no, but he winked, giving the lie to his gesture.

They both laughed.

Luag joined them.

The three men had been out in the field six hours before Lauren awoke and Senga sent her out to help them. It was backbreaking work, scything barley and putting it into the cart.

"Sae glad ye could join us, Lauren. I'm betting ye dinna ken what tae dae with a scythe, sae ye can take up the bunches that we cut and put them in the cart for us. That wull be a great help."

Nodding, she ran over to Luag first, for he had just cut a large bunch. 

They worked in silence awhile, because Leif still didn't know how to broach the subject. Finally, he decided a direct approach was best — mostly because he couldn't think of anything else.

"Lauren."

"Aye?" She called out from the cart where she was dumping Taran’s recent cut.

"Will ye tell us what the druids want, the ones who keep visiting sickness upon oor village? When will they stop? Dae they want us all dead? Why?"

In a manner that startled him, it was so different from her usual thoughtful silence, Lauren answered straightaway.

"The druids seek victory in the coming conflict."

Leif almost dropped his scythe, he was so startled by this answer. Glancing over at Taran and Luag, he saw they were affected the same way.

"Sae they try tae kill us off… They wish for the Laird o the Isles tae be King?"

Again, Lauren answered immediately.

"Aye."

Leif swung his scythe in a wide arc, cutting several plants at once. and then moving away quickly when he saw the panic in Lauren's eyes as she headed over to pick them up very close to his feet. 

Galdus the dirk druid was trying to get to his thoughts.




Jessica and Katherine's coworker Lauren sure was into Scotland. She had convinced the company to participate in a trade show here, and now she was spending 400 pounds on plaid shawls for them to wear on a tour of a ruined castle. What did she expect, handsome highlanders to greet them there? And why did she insist on wearing that old dagger on her hip? Sure, it was cool, but it belonged in a museum!

Celtic University

Celtic University is a fictional school in Jane Stain's Dunskey Castle series of Time Travel Romance novels: Tavish, Seumas, and Tomas. Her heroines Kelsey Ferguson and Sasha Swain earned their doctorates there in Celtic Artwork and Celtic Archaeology. Along with their degrees, the university awarded them silver class rings, hand wrought into intricate Celtic knots. As part of their required coursework, Kelsey and Sasha studied Celtic fairy tales.

This ring is much like those Kelsey and Sasha received.