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Today’s guest is Nancy Lee Badger. Her new book, Spark, has something for readers of historical, paranormal and romance! And it has dragons!


Nancy Lee Badger: My Take on Kilts and Plaides

Scotland has some of the most weather-beaten, chilly, and wide-open spaces on this planet. A harsh climate has grown a people of diverse origins. Picts, Brits, Irish, and Nordic Vikings came and went, but many stayed and thrived, and built a country. Some of the islands off Scotland’s western coastline have unusual aspects that intrigued me so much that I set my new Clan of Dragons series on the island of Skye. My characters are a mix of dragons and humans, and clothing the humans needed to be historically accurate.

Nancy Badger Whiskey- Kilted Cop

Kilted Cop at the NH Highland Games

So, my story, Spark, includes men in plaides (the term used before kilts came along), a village filled with lasses and blacksmiths, tavern keepers, stable hands, and villains carrying concealed weapons and vile thoughts. Characters move the story along, but I love animals, too. When the idea of using dragons as my characters came to me, I couldn’t help but smile. On my heroine’s farm, she has herds of sheep. Around her farm and the village of Morhban are forests filled with deer and wild boars. When I make my title character a dragon, and make him shift into a copper-colored horse in order to meet my heroine, things get interesting.

I cannot close my thoughts without discussing kilts. Ancient Highland Scots did not wear what we, today, call kilts. They wore long, heavy, blankets that they belted on and rolled up and over a shoulder. Tucked into a belt, the heavy wool could also convert into a hooded garment and a bedroll. In the early to mid fifteenth century, the term used was plaide.

The On-line Etymology website at http://www.etymonline.com/ says this about kilt (n.): plaited tartan skirt, originally the part of the belted plaid, which hung below the waist, c. 1730, quelt, from Middle English verb kilten. So, I use the earlier descriptive, plaide. My research found that the word plaid came about around 1510, from the Scottish or Gaelic plaide that meant blanket or mantle of unknown origin, perhaps a a contraction of peallaid which means sheepskin. Since plaides and kilts are woven from wool, it fits. Kilted hunks are popular as romance cover objects, which is why I include one on most of my books. More plaides and Scottish dragons follow Spark in Smoke, the second book in the Clan of Dragons series.


Nancy, I am pleased that you could be here today at Whiskey With My Book.  And thank you for that very interesting discussion of kilts and plaides!


Excerpt from SPARK, Clan of Dragons Book #1

“I could not wait to see you again. So much has happened, these past few days, and I have come to care for you.”

“And I you,” she answered. Did Evan see the desire in her eyes? Were her cheeks as red as they felt? What would he do next? She hoped it began with another kiss.

“Vika, when you struggled with Toal, you were injured. How do you fare?”

His concern was admirable, but he acted as if she was simply a friend. “Me ribs feel bruised. I had a restless night, but have not had a moment to check them, so…”

He smiled. “May I?”

Before Vika could think up a witty answer, he was beside her, and she smelled the sunshine on his skin. She dropped the dress she’d held in front of her like a shield. Disarmed, yet fearless, she reached up and touched his shoulders. Nervousness had flown away like a dragon, yet she wished to end the sudden silence between them. She wished to know his hopes and dreams. She could start a conversation with something neutral.

Although she had walked outside to bid Orin good travels, if Evan had traveled during last night’s storm, how could his skin and plaide be dry? A simple question popped into her head.

“The weather. ‘Tis better?” What a silly question! I was just outside with Orin!



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Nancy Badger Whiskey Blog Prize

Nancy is running a giveaway for those who appreciate the Scots’ influence.  See – shortbread! (Which goes really good with tea or Whisky.  Note, I took out the ‘e’ in honor of the Scots).  And book swag!

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Connect with Nancy Lee Badger

Nancy Badger Whiskey-Nancy & The Mountain

Nancy & Thor Björnsson , The Mountain on Game of Thrones

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