Royal Princess Port of Call: Edinburgh #TuesdayTravels

The second port of call for my British Isles cruise on the Royal Princess was Edinburgh, Scotland. (The first port of call was Le Havre, France, but since we opted for the Normandy shore excursion, I’m saving that port for Veteran’s Day week.)

Royal Princess

Royal Princess at anchor

Edinburgh was one of our two tender ports, so we anchored at South Queensferry, then got on the ship’s tenders or a local boat for a short ride to and from shore. That day, the crew members who saw us off and took photos were dressed in Hogwarts-style robes. (They often dressed up in costumes appropriate to the port of call.) Our motorcoach awaited for the tour of Edinburgh and a stop at majestic Edinburgh Castle. First we drove through Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, built in the 18th century. I love the clean symmetry of Georgian architecture.

Edinburgh New Town

Georgian architecture

Then we came to Edinburgh’s Old Town and drove as far up the hill as possible toward the castle. Then it was time to get out and hoof it on up to the entrance. Some of the people on the bus were unable to go any further, and there was little help for the disabled. (From what I can tell, the UK doesn’t have a law requiring access for disabled people like we do in the States.) I’ll admit that it was quite a hike up to the castle. The Medieval Scots believed in holding the high ground.

Edinburgh skyline, with the Castle atop the volcanic Castle Rock dominating the city.

Edinburgh skyline, with the Castle atop the volcanic Castle Rock dominating the city.

The tour guide told a story of how the castle was once taken, thanks to a young soldier who had once been stationed there and new a back way down the cliffs which he had used to visit his girlfriend in town. He showed the attackers the way up the cliff and they surprised the garrison and captured it. Love stories like that.

Entrance to Edinburgh CastleThe city was crowded with tourists so it was slow going through the castle. However, the line to see the Crown Jewels moved pretty quickly, so we got to see the crown and sceptre. The views from the castle are amazing.

Crowds at Edinburgh CastleMy favorite part of the castle is probably the dog cemetery. Yep, for reals, they set aside a spot where the residents of the castle can bury their loyal canine companions.

View from Castle

Looking down on the Dog Cemetery at Edinburgh Castle with vista of city and Firth of Forth in the distance.

Greyfriars Bobby Pub

Greyfriars Bobby

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh (from

The Scots love their dogs, and all of Edinburgh loved Greyfriars Bobby, a little Skye terrier who remained loyal to his master after death. For fourteen years he slept by his owner’s grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard every night until his own death in 1872 and became something of a mascot for the people of the city. There’s a statue of him in front of a pub of the same name. I saw the Disney film years ago and loved it.

I was on the wrong side of the bus to get a good picture, so here’s a closeup of the statue, courtesy of

After the tour we had lunch at the Hawes Inn in South Queenferry before taking the tender back to the Royal Princess.

Hawes Inn

Hawes Inn, South Queensferry

Next stop: Inverness.


Ilona’s Wolf by Lyndi Lamont Paranormal Romance Thursday Tour #PNRThursday

Welcome to the first Paranormal Romance Thursday post, featuring my steamy paranormal romance, Ilona’s Wolf. Over the next eleven weeks, I’ll be featuring another paranormal romance every Thursday here on the blog, starting with my own paranormal story, Ilona’s Wolf: A Fairy Tale Romance.

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Ilona's Wolf covrIlona’s Wolf: A Fairy Tale Romance
by Lyndi Lamont
Steamy Paranormal Romance

Imagine a world filled with magic, a tormented knight, a damsel in distress, an evil sorcerer…

While picking herbs in the woods, Princess Ilona is rescued from a woodsman by a wolf. When the creature licks her wounds, it is suddenly transformed into a man. A very handsome, very naked man who makes passionate love to her in a glade.

Cursed by an evil wizard, Rolf was trapped in wolf form until he tasted the blood of a royal. Now he must escort the princess on a hazardous journey back to the castle to stop an ill-fated wedding.

Passion flares between them, but both know there is no future for Ilona and her werewolf. Or is there? In a world where magic and passion combine, anything may be possible.

Buy now from: Amazon Kindle Store, BN/Nook, iBooks and Smashwords.

Excerpt where Ilona comes face to face with the wolf:

The wolf looked at her, golden eyes gleaming, mouth open, showing off large, sharp teeth. She closed her eyes and gripped her throat with both hands. Quaking with terror, she listened as the animal padded toward her. She felt its hot breath on her cheek.

Opening her eyes a slit, she stared into the face of the wolf. Sad eyes stared at her, and her fears receded. Perhaps he’d been tamed. She reached out with what was left of her powers, but sensed no immediate danger. “Good wolf,” she stammered.

She held out one shaking fist, and the wolf sniffed it before licking her knuckles. It moved closer, sniffing her clothing. To her surprise, the animal hunkered down beside her and laid its head on her leg. Carefully, she touched it, stroking the soft fur.

Relief flooded through her. Saved by a wolf, of all creatures. “Thank the gods you showed up when you did. I’d no wish to be ravished by the likes of him.”

The wolf lifted its head and seemed to smile up at her, mouth open, tongue lolling.

She smiled at the canine as she continued to pet it. “Grateful I am for you rescuing me, but ’tis not exactly what a girl dreams of. Where’s my knight on a white steed? ‘Tis he who is supposed to do the rescuing.”

When the wolf lowered his head, sniffing between her legs, she laughed and pushed it away. “Rude creature.”

The animal responded by sitting up and resting its head on her breast. She put both arms around it and hugged it close, dropping a kiss on its head. “Do not misunderstand, Sir Wolf, but I still wish you were a knight. A strong, handsome knight like my Werner.”

The familiar sadness filled her at the memory of her husband. “I miss him so much, you know. Dagmar says another knight will come for me, a handsome knight to protect us and make sweet, passionate love to me.”

The wolf whined and raised his head to lick her cheek. Laughing, she tried to push him away, but he licked her full on the mouth. She closed her eyes, stunned when her powers came rushing back, like a flood of magic coursing around her.

Turning aside, she summoned her basket to her side. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the wolf jump up, staring at the basket. Her vision seemed to blur as the wolf’s face slowly became humanlike, then shifted back. She must have hit her head harder than she’d thought if she was seeing things. She closed her eyes and shook her head, but the aching had receded.

When she peeked again, the wolf was gone, and a naked man crouched in front of her. A handsome, well-built man with shaggy brown hair and golden brown eyes.

Next Thursday, Carmen Stefanescu will be here with an excerpt from her paranormal romance, Shadows of the Past.

Keep reading!


Other authors participating in the tour:

Carmen Stefanescu:
Daisy Banks:
Flossie Benton Rogers:
M. S. Kaye:
Kim Kasch:
Cassandra Ulrich:
Julie Dárcy:
Margo Bond Collins:
Adrienne Woods:
N. N. Light:
Penny Estelle: