Saturday, August 17, 2013

No kilts? What?

A warrior’s wardrobe

By Juli D. Revezzo

If you’ve read romance and historical romance for any length of time you’ll undoubtedly run across a few clichés. Sometimes, they’re so expected you just know what you’re going to get. The happy ending, the vampire falling in love with the drip of a girl. There’s also the thing about Braveheart. Every other historical novel set anywhere in or near Scotland seems to have a guy in a kilt. So much so, fans of the genre have a joke about it (what does a Scot wear under his kilt?)

Well, I’m a stickler for accuracy, and so in researching my debut paranormal romance novel, PASSION’S SACRED DANCE, which features Irish Celts, I went looking for their mode of dress.  I found to my surprise that, according to the historical sources, the ancient Celts didn’t wear kilts. Traditionally the men wore tunics—called a leine—and thews, which are basically just trousers. Even the Scots didn’t adopt the Kilt until the 1590s according to one source I read and the Celts adopted it even later than that. Yep, sorry, ladies. Historically, the Kilt wasn’t part of a Celt’s wardrobe.

It seems to make sense. I mean, who wants to run around a battlefield in a skirt? Something that could easily get snagged in your chariot’s wheels?  

On the other hand, there was this separate group among the continental Celts (that is, those that stayed on the Continent of Europe) called the Gaesatae. These men had a distinct ritual dress for their war preparations. The Gaesatae would shed all their clothes and march into battle stark naked. Yep. Not. A. Stitch between them and the sky.

Can you imagine seeing your enemy walk out on the battlefield with a little more than just a flag flying? >;) Interesting image, huh? One must be quite bold to do that.

Unfortunately, the weather at the time PASSION’S SACRED DANCE takes place was a bit too cold for such attire. However, my heroine Stacy does get an eyeful of the hero Aaron from time to time. Would you like a peek?


She drummed her fingers on her desk. On the other hand, could she afford not to see it? Sheer curiosity if nothing else would kill her. “Do you know why he brought the diary to your attention, and not to mine directly?”
Aaron shrugged. “I guess because I teach his son.”
He waved a hand. “Stick fighting, you know. Martial arts.”
Made sense. “Still…” she sat back in the chair and crossed her arms, “I don’t know.”
“As you wish.” He tapped the letter. “He can give it to the university. I’m sure they’ll be interested.”
She picked up the note and hugged the stationery protectively. “No, no. I’ll go.”
Her gaze went to his, and butterflies dashed around in her stomach. A vision flashed before her of how his eyes might look glazed over in passion. “Maybe we should go.” She cleared her throat, stood and moved to the filing cabinet, changed her mind and went to the
desk again.
The fabled diary! She was beside herself with excitement. She’d have the diary. What a month this was turning out to be. “When can we meet him?”
Aaron came forward and ran a finger over the calendar’s slots. “How about tomorrow morning?”
“Yes.” She nodded emphatically. “Perfect. Nineish?”
“Tomorrow it is.” He nodded and turned toward the door.
The thrill of this discovery overwhelmed her. An urge to kiss him in thanks struck her hard in the chest.
He met her gaze, waiting.
Her brain screamed, halt! She wanted to touch him at least. Her fingers twitched. She stepped back.
She just couldn’t. “I’ll see you at nine.”
He turned away with a knowing glint in his eyes.
She was such a fool.
Stacy Macken would be the death of him, Aaron thought, as he tugged off his boots and jeans. They’d parted a good hour ago, but he still couldn’t get rid of the sensation of having her close or the sheer need to kiss her.
Didn’t she realize how crazy she was driving him?
A cold shower was definitely in order.
Aaron closed the bathroom door behind him, twisted the white porcelain shower knob marked “C”.
As the water burst from the faucet, he heard it—the soft melody of his ringtone. Sighing, he turned the water off and sprinted into his bedroom, snatching his phone from the bedside table. The display shone bright with a name that darkened his mood. Laurco Çubiry.
Aaron frowned. What the blazes does he need?

What’s going on here and what does an Irishman wear under his kilt? I really can’t say. You’ll have to look into it yourself! I do know what some of them wear into battle though—and in the shower. ;)


Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise--but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help--even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron's budding love might only complicate things.

If you’d like to check Passion’s Sacred Dance out, it’s available at Amazon:

About Juli D. Revezzo:

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of Independent Authors Network and Magic Appreciation Tour. Passion’s Sacred Dance is her first paranormal romance novel.

You can find out more about her at her homepage:
On twitter: @julidrevezzo

*notes: The women wore dresses, and long tunics, as well as the unisex cloak.
Works cited: The Celts by Nora Chadwick
Celtic Dress of the 16th Century:


  1. Excellent cover! And thanks for caring to make your novel historically accurate. Now that you've enlightened me, I'll be watching for incorrectly worn kilts--and removing them in my mind. Smile.

    Best wishes for success.

    1. Remove, away, Ashantay! I'm sure the warriors won't mind. >;) I hope you like my new novel. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words. (And yes, Kim Mendoza did a wonderful job on the cover, didn't she?)

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  3. Juli, from the classes I've taken and the research I've done, you're absolutely right.

    But fortunately for those of us who love men wearing kilts, the plaid was around long before the kilt was created (though I don't remember how far back it went), so if a novel predates kilts, just substitute 'plaid' for 'kilt', at least in the Highlands. I'm still shaky on my knowledge of this subject, but I seem to remember that Lowlanders and Borderers wore trousers.

    Good post on accuracy!

  4. Love the cover and the excerpt! What fun to find out exactly what was going on in the past. I do know that when the King of England outlawed the men of Scotland to wear their kilts, they found some interesting ways to keep doing it. :)

  5. I'd heard about the warriors that went into battle totally naked. I'd prefer a buffer, even armour between me and a sword. Love the excerpt and cover.

  6. Men marching into battle naked? Ah...oh, right, we're talking about kilts here. I'd found the same bit of information when I was doing research on the difference in the terms "plaid" and "tartan". We owe our readers accuracy. Loved the excerpt. Much luck to you.

  7. Interesting article! And you're so casual about destroying the fantasies of women everywhere! ;-)

  8. Juli, I absolutely enjoyed this article! I loved that you shared your research with us, and I oddly found it very interesting. Kilts . . . who knew?! And men marching into battle naked would be a jaw-dropping site. It would also worry me. I mean, that just gives your enemy something else to cut off. Eek! Am I the only one who thought of this? *blushes* Anyway, your book sounds fascinating. I do love a good battle between good and evil. :) Thank you for sharing!

    And thank you too, Maeve!

  9. Considering the Scots were my ancestors, I am thinking I have a new comeback when I want to roam through at least the house without a stitch on. ;) Just kidding, I am not into doing that battle. (Maeve, no eye rolling :) )

    Great post full of interesting information. Good luck with your book sales.

  10. LOL I think I want to become an ancient warrior and go to battle... Thanks for a fun excerpt, Juli!

  11. But love a Highlander in a kilt. Ah well... It's all part of the fantasy.