Monday, December 24, 2012

HEAVEN SENT is here!

I have had this blog over two years now and I have interviewed a lot of authors trying to bring to you the best books around. I want to give authors the chance to promote themselves and their writing.

Now, I am so excited to finally have my turn.  My novella, HEAVEN SENT is now available. Here's a sneak peek!



When forgiveness heals the soul, love heals the heart.

Flight nurse Tenlee Hawkins is used to making quick decisions, but one decision she made the Christmas day her mother died haunts her. Wrestling with the past, she spirals into depression—until the day she finds a man unconscious in her woods and saves his life.

When Sam awakens in the hospital with a concussion and no memory, Tenlee rescues him again. She takes him into her home and her life. But as Sam recovers and remembers who he is, he's torn. A guardian angel isn't supposed to fall in love.

As the promise of true love grows, Tenlee realizes that Sam has helped her much more than she ever helped him. But Sam is filled with guilt knowing he must soon leave. Will it take a Christmas miracle to find the life with Tenlee he’s always wanted?


Red and blue lights pulsed a beat all on their own, and even though the road was slick, people ran to and fro in a frantic pace to save a woman’s life.

A car sat mangled on the side of the road. The roof, having been cut, rested on the ground beside it. A few feet beyond, a woman lay motionless. She wasn’t breathing as the EMT’s worked desperately to save her life. Sam closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. But it was no use. If he was here for an assignment then the lady on the ground was not going to live. He said another prayer, hoping that there would be no pain and she would slip easily into his world.

The woman with the red hair sat on the ground near the deceased woman and cried, rocking back and forth.

“That is her mother.”

Malachi’s deep voice broke into his thoughts and Sam turned to acknowledge him.

“No, keep watching,” Malachi said.

The scene on the screen changed. Months passed, for now the trees were green and glorious in their summer splendor. A manicured lawn hugged a log cabin, nestled in the woods. Flowers sprung from pots here and there along the ground and deck. The place looked cozy. Scenes continued to change as did the weather. Snow decorated the landscape once again.

Searching the scene for all of the details he could gather, Sam spotted her, just past the cabin, in the woods. She sat quietly on a swing hanging from a tree branch. The sadness etched in her features gripped Sam and tore at his emotions. He ached to go to her, to comfort her.
If you are interested in purchasing HEAVEN SENT, this is where you can find it!
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you like the book!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview with Author, MEGAN KELLY

Author Megan Kelly

Sarah, thanks for having me here. I’m tickled to meet your readers. In fact, I’d like to offer (to a random commenter, a pdf of Holly & Ivey and a hand-knit scarf like the one mentioned in the book. What a fun way to celebrate the season. It’s green, red and white yarn, which makes it good for Cinco de Mayo too!  (I have a picture of it but my computer crashed, so you’ll have to believe me when I say it’s a pretty cool scarf. On the DH’s laptop, and downloading 1052 pictures to find one isn’t making him smile.)

Last year, I published Santa Dear, a tale about a little boy who doubts Santa’s existence and the two adults who try to restore his belief. I fell in love with the small town of Cloverdale and wanted to set another story nearby. Holly and Ivey is set in adjacent Stilton, et voila! A series is born.

Sarah asked me about research, and as always, there are things I don’t know that I have to learn. Too many to mention, so I’ll pare down the list. One of the most obvious is Christmas tree farming, as well as the attached fruit orchard business, which is the hero’s livelihood. I know more than I could put in a book, which is exactly as it should be, in my opinion. A writer should research until she could do the job and then just add snippets for interest and authenticity. I know a bit about the area where my fictional towns are set from researching for Santa Dear. I researched Holly’s job as assistant marketing director then wound up not using it. I researched places to eat in Chicago near the landmark Palmer House Hotel, then decided no one really cared where Holly ate. I even checked with my kids on a quote I used from one of their favorite movies, Sandlot.

Most of what I write flows out of my fingers to the keys. I find out what’s happening as it appears on my screen. Which is enchanting and spooky at the same time. I love when the story is working, but if the characters stop telling me what to write, I struggle. That means somewhere along the path, I lost them. I have to write my way back to where they’re happy and will cooperate. Then I usually scrap the stuff where they wouldn’t talk to me. Fortunately, they’re pretty willing to take me along for the whole ride. I research as I go, since I don’t know what I need to learn until I get to a place in the story where I don’t know whatever it is. I’m sure that makes zero sense to non-writers and those who plot. I’m a flier—I fly into the mist, trusting my navigation (writing skills and characters) to deliver me safe at my destination, a place called The End.  It’s fun and hard and wonderful and awful. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My website:
Amazon buy link:
Barnes & Noble:

Holly MacDonald rushes to her hometown to prevent her friend from marrying an unfaithful groom. Her old buddy, Luke Ivey, is the best man who intends to stop her interference. She's no longer his tomboy pal, and he's no longer her nerdy sidekick. They're attracted to each other, despite their different views on the wedding and their living four hours apart. But he's tied to the land and she's tied to the coorperate ladder in Chicago.

When "The Wedding March" fades and Christmas is over, will they stay together? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview with Author LYNDA COX

Today I’m interviewing Lynda J. Cox. Her book, The Devil’s Own Desperado is a western historical romance and was released for Kindle through Amazon’s KDP program in September and will be available for all formats and in hard copy on January 11th, 2013.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book. 

The book for Colt Evans and Amelia McCollister is a western historical. Amelia is raising her two younger siblings, forced into being a parent when her parents were murdered. She’s resigned herself to that role and to probably never marrying. She’s not necessarily opposed to guns but she doesn’t carry a lot of love for the weapons or for those who live by the gun, so when a wounded gunslinger wanders onto her homestead, she’s very torn. Part of her wants to turn him away but her conscience and upbringing won’t let her. Colt Evans, though he’s deadly accurate and blazingly quick with a revolver, is a very reluctant shootist. He wants to hang the hardware up, but he’s a realist. He knows he has a past and that past is well armed. He knows that most men who live by the gun stand very good odds of dying by the gun. Add in a younger brother infatuated with gunmen and the lore of the shootist, a little sister so traumatized by being a witness to her parents’ murder that she won’t speak, and an over-protective marshal, and you’ve got The Devil’s Own Desperado.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  

Western historical romance is any romance set in the wide open spaces of the American West, usually any time after the American Civil War (or, depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you fell on, either geographically or politically—The War for Southern Independence or The War of Northern Aggression) until about 1890. Most often there are cowboys in this genre but the days of the cowboy that we know from Hollywood were very short because by the very early 1880s, barbed wire was already sectioning off the American West. There are stock characters to be found in the genre: the drifter usually embittered by his experiences in the Civil War (as most of the cowboys were veterans of that war), the wall-flower school marm, the harlot with a heart of gold, the cattle baron, the gunslinger with a dead soul and a frozen heart…and you won’t find a one of those in this novel. I prefer to write in the western historical romance genre because it’s a place that I’ve very comfortable. 

How did this story come to be? 

The Devil’s Own Desperado wasn’t supposed to be written when it was. I was eyeball deep in writing the creative project for my master’s degree, and struggling to write a critical introduction (minimum of 25 pages with at least 15 sources) to the same. If you think writing a synopsis and blurb is difficult, try writing a scholarly paper on the influences that shaped your work, where that work fits into other published works within the same genre, and what is new or unique about your work. At one point in the middle of that semester, Colt Evans walked into my subconscious—fully formed—and he was hand in hand with Amelia. He demanded that I write their story and he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. So when I wasn’t pulling my hair out with that critical introduction or the creative project itself, I was writing Colt and Amelia’s story.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? 

Actually, yes. I had my creative project finished which is a fantasy romance and I have three other manuscripts in varying stages of completion—from one sitting on my editor’s desk to one in just rough draft form. Other than my master’s project, those three manuscripts are all western historical romances and are set in the same small town where The Devil’s Own Desperado takes place. Characters introduced in Colt and Amelia’s story have their own stories to tell.

What is your writing routine like?

I try to set aside at least three hours a day to write, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I often find that I’m writing for hours on end when I can’t get those three hours in. Before I start writing, I do a quick review of the manuscript, figure out where the characters are going in the next couple of scenes, decide who has the most to lose in that scene, and start writing. I don’t write from an outline. The one time I did, I discovered I had put so much creatively into the outline that the story itself was flat and lifeless. Now, I just let the characters “tell” me where we’re going.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Oh, my…I think it would just be seeing my name on the cover of a published book. All those hours spent dreaming of seeing that, all the hours spent writing, and sending out queries, getting ever so close…to finally see my name on the cover of a book that is published by a real publisher, not self-published—and there is NOTHING wrong with being self-published, but I had set the goal of being published by a more traditional publisher.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I’m a member of RWA. While I’d like to join my local RWA chapter, I frankly don’t have the time. Between teaching full time, raising our grand-daughter (she lives with us and is truly the light of my life), taking care of critters (two horses, chickens, cats and collies), and showing those collies, I really don’t have time.

What character is most like you or least like you?
I don’t think any of them are like me or not like me. I try to let my characters be their own persons, but if you’re going to press me for an answer, I’d have to say that the marshal is the most like me. I’m incredibly protective of those I love and care about. For a while, there was a Facebook picture that pretty much summed me up. It said, “I’m easy-going but mess with my dogs and I’ll break out a level of bad on you that will make your nightmares seem like a happy place.” That would also go for my family and friends. 

What most inspires you in life?
Oh goodness. I find inspiration everywhere: in stories of the underdogs, in nature, in watching my grand-daughter grow into a self-assured, beautiful young lady.

What’s next for you? 

Right now, I’m working on an idea that I started for NaNaWriMo (and it’s not even close to being finished). And, I’m looking forward to the upcoming show season with the collies. I’ve got a young male who has really come into his own and we’re going to be campaigning him, hopefully into the top ten.

He's everything she fears…
Wounded gunfighter Colt Evans stumbles onto a remote homestead never expecting to find compassion. But beautiful Amelia McCollister is like no other woman. Suddenly, his dream of settling down with a wife and home is within reach—but only if his past never comes gunning for him.

She's everything he dreams of…
Amelia had to grow up fast after outlaws murdered her parents, leaving her to raise her siblings alone. With a young brother who idolizes shootists, she dreads having a notorious gunman in her home. But as Colt slowly recovers, he reveals a caring nature under his tough exterior that Amelia can't resist.

Just when Colt starts to believe he can leave the gunfighter life behind, his past returns, bringing danger to them all. Can a shootist ever hang up his hardware? Or will their dreams disappear in the smoke of a desperado's gun?

A little bit about the author
I earned both my B.A. in English and history and M.A. in English from Indiana State University. I’m an adjunct instructor of English, teaching mainly freshman composition. Growing up on a steady diet of John Wayne Westerns and the television series Lassie, I’ve incorporated those influences into my life. My historical romance novels are set in the Wyoming Territory and when I’m not writing or teaching I can be found on the road to the next dog show. I love to talk books and can be reached at

“Colt. My name is Colt,” he interrupted.

She froze for a moment near the stove. “I would feel very forward to address you by your given name, Mr. Evans.”

His laughter boomed through the room. Amelia whirled. His head was tilted back and the strong cording of his throat stood out in relief. “Amelia, you didn’t have a problem taking care of me while I was unconscious and naked as the day I was born, but you think it would be forward to use my given name. There is something that doesn’t add up there.”

She twisted her apron between her hands, staring at the floor. A moment later, Colt caught her chin in his palm and tilted her head to him. She hadn’t heard him cross the floor. Her breath caught in a mingling of fear and some nameless anticipation.

“My name is Colt. Try it, Amelia. Colt.”

Amelia’s skin burned with the light touch of his fingers and her heart hammered against her breastbone. She wet her parched lips.

“It’s a simple name, really. Four little letters. Colt.”

Her throat was frozen. She was falling into the depths of his gray eyes. The pad of his thumb brushed along her lower lip. The butterflies returned to her stomach and that curious ache renewed. She shook her head, freeing herself of his gentle hold. She staggered a step away and broke the spell.

How can my readers buy your book?  

Readers can go to the publisher’s home page after January 11, 2013 and find The Devil’s Own Desperado at or it is currently available on Amazon (for Kindle only) at: After January 11th, it will be available in all formats.

You can find more information about Lynda J. Cox and her  book, The Devil’s Own Desperado by visiting her Facebook page at or her blog at

Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind. 

1) What’s your favorite movie?
You’re going to make me pick just one?

2) What is your favorite season?
They all have their good points and bad points, but I like fall the best.

3) What is your favorite thing to eat?
A rib eye steak, medium rare, smothered in sautéed mushrooms and onions.

4) Who is your favorite author to read?
J.K. Rowling. I admit it, I am a Potter-head.

5) What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Wyoming. Anywhere in Wyoming.

6) What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
It’s not advice, but I have this on a sign hanging over my desk. It’s a quote from John Wayne that says “Courage is being afraid but saddling up anyway.”

7) Coke or Pepsi?

Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Today I’m interviewing Victoria Roberts. Her book, Temptation in a Kilt is a Scottish historical romance and was released on September 1, 2012.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

First, thank you so much for having me here today.

Temptation in a Kilt starts with our troubled heroine, Lady Rosalia Armstrong, who has suffered many years of physical and emotional abuse by the hands of both her parents. When the family fortune is spent, her beloved parents decide to offer her up to an English lord known for his debauchery and scandal. Rosalia refuses to wed this unsavory man. Deciding to take control of her own life by escaping to the Scottish Highlands, Rosalia seeks refuge from her estranged grandmother.

Laird Ciaran MacGregor has enough troubles of his own. King James has demanded peace in the Highlands. And Ciaran would have no problem with that, but his liege’s command does not keep the neighboring Campbell clan from being a pain in Ciaran’s arse. On top of that, our poor hero has made a vow to his father to keep his younger brother on a straight path, a task easier said than done.

When Ciaran discovers Rosalia on his way back from court, sparks fly, tempers flare, and they both find themselves fighting their own temptations.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is this the only genre you write in?
Currently, Scottish historical romance is the only genre in which I write. This is truly where my heart lies, but who knows what the future holds?

How did this story come to be?
I started with an idea and it basically snowballed from there. I wanted Temptation to be a true love story. Ciaran and Rosalia generally care for each other, but as with anything in life, it’s not that simple. There’s political intrigue, clan conflicts, family dynamics and several other obstacles standing in their way.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold?
No. Temptation in a Kilt was my first manuscript.

What is your writing routine like?
I write Monday through Friday and strive for 1k words/day.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
I honestly thought the most rewarding thing would be seeing my book on the shelves. Even though the feeling is wonderful, my biggest reward has been hearing from readers. I’ve received e-mails from men and women who have told me how much the book has touched their lives, making them laugh, cry, etc. One man even sent me a pic where he was dressed in his kilt and held by book. I was truly honored.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Yes. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America®, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers and Western Pennsylvania Romance Writers. I don’t know what I’d do without my Celtic sisters and brothers. Celtic Hearts is a phenomenal chapter.

What character is most like you or least like you?

Mmm… Most like me would have to be Aisling MacGregor. Least like me would have to be Lady Caroline Armstrong. I can’t stand Lady Caroline—horrible, horrible person.

What most inspires you in life?

My family.

What’s next for you?
The second book in the series, X Marks the Scot, is scheduled for release in February 2013. This book is Declan MacGregor and Lady Liadain Campbell’s story.


She’s on her way to safety

It’s a sign of Lady Rosalia Armstrong’s desperation that she’s seeking refuge in a place as rugged and challenging as the Scottish Highlands. She doesn’t care about hardship and discomfort, if only she can become master of her own life. Laird Ciaran MacGregor, however, is completely beyond her control…

He redefines dangerous…

Ciaran MacGregor knows it’s perilous to get embroiled with a fiery Lowland lass, especially one as
headstrong as Rosalia. Having made a rash promise to escort her all the way to Glengarry, now he’s stuck with her, even though she challenges his legendary prowess at every opportunity. When temptation reaches its peak, he’ll be ready to show her who he really is…on and off the battlefield.

A little bit about the author
Victoria Roberts writes sexy, Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as "one of the most promising debut authors across the genres" and is also a 2012 Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best First Historical for her debut, Temptation in a Kilt.

Her second novel, X Marks the Scot, will be released February 2013 and the third, To Wed a Wicked Highlander September 2013.

Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Western Pennsylvania Romance Writers, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine, Celtic Guide.

Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of nineteen years and their two beautiful children--not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish romp, she enjoys reading, nature, and antiques.

How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at
 Check out my book trailer at:

You can find more information about Victoria Roberts and my book, Temptation in a Kilt by visiting my website,  or my blog a 

Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.

1) What’s your favorite movie?
I love so many. It’s hard to narrow down to one.

2) What is your favorite season?

3) What is your favorite thing to eat?
Pizza. I’m a cheap date.

4) Who is your favorite author to read?
There are so many wonderful authors. Some of my favorites are: Lynn Kurland, Karen Marie Moning and Brenda Joyce.

5) What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Caribbean. Those crystal-blue waters. *sigh*

6) What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Join RWA.

7) Coke or Pepsi?

Thanks so much for having me. Sourcebooks will give away one copy of Temptation in a Kilt to a lucky commenter. (US and Canada only, please.) What is your favorite book?
Author Victoria Roberts

Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Running from a past of privilege, deceit, and danger, Travis Simms is ready to settle down. What better place to forget all he left behind than the quiet little Montana town of Lolo Hot Springs? His goal is clear — build a hotel and his own destiny without complications —until one of the town’s most troublesome women captures his attention.
Dusty Larson is hell bent on independence, helping her sister run the Triple D Ranch. She can do anything a man can, and do it better, so she certainly doesn’t need one in her life. The only problem is she seems to attract bad luck and danger...and Travis. Can he tame her wild ways and keep his bachelor status intact — or does he risk losing his heart?
You can find Dawn and her books at:
TWITTER- @d_luedecke

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The Temperate Warrior
Book 1 of the Warrior Sagas
By Renee Vincent

Turquoise Morning Press
December 2012
ISBN: 9781622370924

Genre: Historical, paranormal romance, Viking Buy
 Links: Kindle | Nook | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Turquoise Morning Press | Book Strand

He was her champion. She was his weakness.
Together, they loved with wild abandon.

Gustaf Ræliksen lives by the blade of his sword. After avenging his father’s murder and reuniting with his family, he wants nothing more than to settle down and have sons of his own. Only one woman will do—a fiery redhead he saved from the spoils of war. No longer forced to warm the beds of the men who've taken everything from her, Æsa has nothing to offer the noble warrior but her heart. When someone with a deep score to settle seeks revenge upon her, Gustaf's world is torn asunder. He has but one vow—saving the woman he loves from the ignorant fool who dared to best the temperate warrior.

“Dying a thousand deaths in my head to protect you is better than losing you one time in the flesh. I would never recover if I let anything happened to you.”
His voice was devoid of emotion, monotone as he laid open his heart for her. Most would think he was just being aloof, uncaring as he rattled off sentimental words in an impersonal way. But Æsa knew better. He was not only bearing his soul to her, but doing so the only way he knew how; by occupying his mind and body with a simple task so his heart couldn’t entertain the idea of failure.
 Moved by his words, she stood and made haste to join him on the hide. Dropping to her knees, she laid her hands atop his wrists, impeding his progress with the knife. His eyes met hers and they stared at one another.
 Long, heartfelt seconds ticked by as she absorbed the magnitude of his pain. She plucked the tools from his hands and set them at his feet. “I am so sorry for bringing this burden upon you.” Gustaf opened his mouth for rebuttal, but she pressed her finger to his lips, feeding his words back to him. “Yesterday, you were without burden, at peace knowing you had fulfilled your duty as a loyal son. Ready to start your life anew…remember?”
 He closed his eyes as if forcing himself to hear her and wait his turn.
“And now, I have thwarted your future happiness with a dark past that follows me everywhere I go. You can deny all you want what I used to be and pretend that I am a woman of worth if it makes it easier for you to accept my shame. But I know what I used to be and I will not let you add me to the list of things you will punish yourself for should you fail. I am not worth it. I am not worth any man’s grief. Or death,” she added.
 Slowly, Gustaf opened his eyes and stared at her. His lips drew a straight line across his face. He removed her finger from his mouth and held her wrist in a tight grasp. “May I speak?”
Æsa nodded, steeling herself for the tongue-lashing she knew would follow. He took his time replying, which was worse than having him berate her on the spot. The look in his eyes foretold of his disappointment, and his quiet reserve prefaced the exceptional temperance this man was capable of.
 “I shall do my best to make myself clear,” he began, his eyes never leaving hers. “We all have a past and oftentimes we have an unfortunate moment in our existence we would rather erase from our memories. But it matters not what we have failed to do, but what we succeed in doing from those failed moments onward. In my past, I have failed to protect my family, as I am the only one left, save for my nephews on Inis Mór. While their deaths, brought about by various regrettable circumstances, were not a direct cause of my own negligence, the burden is still the same. Like you, I face that demon every day of my life.
 “That being said, our demons do not become us. They are not the bones and flesh of our bodies, nor the substance of our hearts. They are recollections of what used to be and what is no longer. Your demon—or your previous life as a whore, as you like to beat upon my brow—is not who you are inside. Your worth is diminished only by the demon you place across your shoulders like a royal cloak. Divest yourself of that, my dearest Æsa, and you will understand the depths of my love and the extent to which I will go to protect you. Gladly protect you,” he reiterated. “Until then, you will just have to take my word for it.”

Author Bio:
I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields.

I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar...and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can't resist watching great epic historical movies.

From an early age, I've always had scenes playing out in my head. Whether it was a story with a moral or a tale with a twist, those ideas have never let me sleep until I wrote them out. And considering I have an eclectic ensemble of stories swarming in my brain at any given time, I write under a couple pen names to accommodate the various genre categories. Renee Vincent (Historical & Contemporary Adult Romance) From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day, you'll be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love. Visit my website at

Gracie Lee Rose (Lighthearted, Fancy-free Women's Fiction) For those who love to read fun, wholesome, and endearing romantic stories that your mother, sister, friends, and daughters can enjoy. Visit my website at

Author Links:


Friday, November 30, 2012

Interview with Author ALEXA BOURNE

Thank you to Sarah for inviting me to post here today!

The holidays are upon us! Can you believe it? Have you started decorating for Christmas? I haven't, but I'm looking forward to it. I love everything about the holidays. Do you go all out and get crazy with your decorating or are you more the subtle type? I love to decorate the inside of my home with all sorts of decorations I’ve received or purchased over the years. I usually wait until the first weekend in December to do my decorating, and of course the holiday music comes on, but that gets started just after Thanksgiving. (I’ve got the Christmas List playing on my iPod as I type this!)

The heroines of my books love to decorate, and their heroes would say the lasses go a bit crazy with their decorating. The men, of course, go along with the heroines' ideas, but they try to get out of a lot of the work. Yes, the lads like the outcome, but they want as little work as possible.

Heather, the heroine from Her Highland Champion, has a lot to think about. She and Malcolm own The Kierlain House, a bed and breakfast in the Highlands of Scotland, so she needs to keep the guests in mind. She wants the decorations to be perfect for their guests, complete with traditional British decorations. They decorate a tree in the front room of the B & B and if they have any children staying there, she hangs a stocking for them and offers the parents the chance to include their gifts under the tree. On Christmas morning, Heather forces Malcolm to hand out gifts that “Father Christmas” left for everyone. Usually, Heather also includes a small gift from the staff at the Kierlain House to each of the guests. Later in the day, they have a Christmas dinner and she includes Christmas crackers for the table.

Rachel, the heroine from Fractured Paradise, is a bit eccentric. She is the type who has odd decorations- some from when she was a child, some she bought, some she was given as gifts, and nothing matches. She has many “New Age” type decorations, complete with a Santa checking his list twice on a laptop and elves working online on sleigh improvements. She likes sparkly decorations and colorful lights. She decorates her office at work as much as they allow, and she decorates the flat in Edinburgh too. She and Aidan spend the holiday in Sunderland, England where they met and he’s from, and then they return to their home in Edinburgh for New Year’s. In Sunderland, they stay in what used to be Aidan’s flat. They rent it out during the tourist season, but they always use it around Christmas. In early December, they travel down to Sunderland and put up decorations so it’s ready for when they arrive. Aidan thinks it’s too much time and effort to decorate two homes, but Rachel wouldn’t have it any other way.

Joanna, the heroine from my December book Simple Treasures, is thrilled to be alive. She wants to celebrate every aspect of the holidays, to appreciate the simple things in life. But she goes all out for decorating her flat. Colin is often out of town and Joanna likes to surprise him with a fully decorated home. She chooses to decorate in one weekend, usually the weekend after Thanksgiving. Most of the time she’s done with her Christmas shopping by then, but she will always also buy one new ornament for their tree each year, an ornament that has some special meaning for her. From that point on, she makes a point of enjoying all the holiday festivities around Edinburgh. The city gets crowded in December, especially around New Year’s, but she loves to experience it all…to a point. Of course, she also loves to spend time snuggling up to Colin as they watch holiday shows and ring in the New Year.

Obviously, each of the women has a bit of me in them, but I think I'm most like Rachel when it comes to getting ready for the holidays. Which heroine are you most like?



Twitter: @AlexaBourne




Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview with Author PATRICIA W. FISCHER

***Leave a comment below to win a free copy of Patricia's book!***

Flawed, Funny, and Fabulous

One of my favorite movies of all time is Romancing the Stone.

Romancing the Stone trailer (  

I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of a dull life being turned upside down with adventure, love, and treasure with a hot, bad boy who only has eyes for you?

Of course, I’m not so sure if I’m game about running for my life from drug runners in Columbia, but the idea of adventure does have its merits. That’s one of the many reasons I wanted to be a writer. To create worlds that would be escapes from everyday reality and why not? The world can be a stressful place, full of uncertainty, especially when you add in that upcoming Mayan Apocalypse thingy, but I don’t want it to be a perfect world. Just a world full of great characters and wonderful scenarios. For years I’d avoid many homework assignments and zone out during lectures as stories ran through my brain. I’ve got boxes of journals of ideas, half written stories, life experiences, and complaints about why my social calendar wasn’t full my entire four years in high school and the size of my thighs.

During nursing school, I kept asking if particular drugs were traceable if you gave them certain ways. My instructor became very distressed that I kept asking this, until my classmates said, “Oh, don’t mind her. She’s a writer.”

But I digress…back to Romancing the Stone. This was one of the reasons I wanted to write romance.

When I watch this movie, it’s a classic take on what romances were thought to be at the time: silly stories of girls in distress, waiting for a man to rescue her and make it all better.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Romance novels and movies are about empowerment for both the man and woman. They are about these characters liking each other at their worst and encouraging each other to be their best.

Are there stories where the woman flakes out and gives it all up for the man she “just can’t live without?” Sure and I could name a few hear, but I won’t. I don’t read those books or watch those movies because I think they are ridiculous to see a woman be a vapid, shell of a person, and overrun by a dominate male. Regardless, they fill a niche for someone out there. It’s just not my thing.

I like movies and books where I see both characters grow.

Let’s go back to Romancing the Stone for a second. Where do they begin?

Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) starts out as a clueless, shut-in who lives her life through her writing and a good bottle of booze, but a turn of events forces her out of her sheltered life and immediately into adventure with Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas).

With very little prep, Joan Wilder quickly finds a way to survive in the jungle and eventually become an equal to Colton, which only gets him interested in her more.

Isn’t that what we want for our own characters? To immediately throw them outside their worlds of comfort and give them some other path to take?

Half the time, Joan has no idea what she’s doing and Jack can’t fight the feelings he has for her. It’s romantic chemistry at its finest and one of the most fun rom-coms to watch because in the end, they both discover who they really are as individuals and as a couple. Basically, they rescue each other. Love it!

In my debut novel, Weighting for Mr. Right, Megan Sayla starts off a lot like Joan Wilder—confused, frustrated with her life, and a wallflower who winds up in a place she’s never been as she tries to navigate out of there without totally embarrassing herself. That’s where she unexpectantly meets Jacob Dante, a guy who’s all but given up on finding happily ever after or just a woman who’s worth dating once. He’s decided to focus on himself by making good money, kind of like Jack T. Colton.

Geez, I didn’t realize I’d written it like this movie until I wrote this article. I must really like this film, but honestly, this is the idea behind so many romance novels. Give the characters room to grow because no one wants to read about people who have it all figured out. How boring would that be?

Page One:

She says hi.

He says hi.

They fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after.

The end.

Epilogue: He makes a whole lot of money. The live in a mansion, have three children in four years, her boobs don’t sag from breastfeeding and she’s still a size two. They vacation in the south of France every summer and she never has to worry about wrinkles.

No thanks. I want characters that are flawed, funny, and fabulous. The more real than they are, the better the fantasy world of the writer because the best romances are the ones we can relate to. The ones who have us look at those in our lives and realize that many of our adventures are simply waiting for us to start. We just have to be willing to take that leap of faith and jump.

( )

For more from Patricia W. Fischer, you can find her on her website, Facebook, Pintrest, and Twitter. Her debut novel Weighting for Mr. Right is available at Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble . To read the first chapter, click here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Interview with Author LINDA ENGMAN

~Romance, Holidays, and Hot Heroes~ by Linda Engman

I think I must be a frustrated party planner. With the upcoming release of my fourth book, My Sexiest Wedding, in January of 2013, I’m starting to see a trend in my book plots (besides including sexy, rugged heroes) such as: weddings, parties, and holiday celebrations. Within each sexy-fun plot there is always an opportunity for the heroine to dress up and clink glasses of champagne with a tall, handsome hero. Whether it be at midnight on New Year’s Eve, on a sultry tropical beach, or while attending a romantic wedding. Sometimes even at their own wedding—if the hero plays his cards right.

It could be that I just love holidays and celebrating special occasions with champagne. Bubbly and sparkly, the classic romantic drink immediately puts you in a good mood and makes a person feel like celebrating something-anything. I had so much fun including champagne in a steamy midnight scene in my holiday romance, Manhattan Holiday. Within the scene the heroine, April Sutton, a somewhat stuffy law assistant, finds herself in the hero, Roman Vasquez’s Manhattan penthouse condo, dressed only in one of his white dress shirts, a little tipsy, while she lets her inhibitions down and does an unplanned sexy lap dance for him. I couldn’t have wrote that scene without her drinking a little too much pricy French champagne on his New Year’s Day birthday. And the hero? Yes, he enjoyed it too.

Champagne isn’t just for holidays and romance. My heroines, Amber Bradley and Heather Grant, from my Cedar Point series, I’ve Got You and Falling For You, never hesitate to pop open a bottle of bubbly while commiserating with their BFF’s regarding their man problems and love lives. When I wrote those scenes it brought me back to my single days doing the same exact thing with my girlfriends after work. Thank goodness for best friends who show up with a bottle of something sparkly when you need a good girl chat.

And romantic candlelit weddings never fail to be an opportunity to showcase my heroes in a new light. In My Sexiest Wedding, the hero Rafael Quintero, a Spanish cowboy, is more used to riding the pampas grasslands of Argentina and drinking tequila, so having him outfitted in a suit and attending a wedding in the small town of Bernie, Ohio, while drinking champagne, was too much of temptation for me to pass up. The man cleans up well too! And after a few glasses of the effervescent bubbly stuff, this hero is more than ready for some serious romance.

I’m in the middle of finishing another sexy-fun romance. I can’t wait to see what holiday or how the characters will celebrate. Or maybe I’ll include another romantic moonlit wedding? I’m pretty sure my heroine won’t mind.


*PS. I thought I’d share my favorite champagnes with you. Enjoy the upcoming holidays!

*My Champagne Picks for the Holidays*

-FREIXENET. Elegant, edgy Freixenet is unlike any other champagne I’ve tasted. The price is affordable.

-MUMMS. Pricier but worth it.

-ANDRE’S. Extra Dry, Brut, Blush and Asti. Inexpensive with a high price taste. (I love the plastic cork. Pour a glass, re-cork, and the next day it’s still bubbly.)

-MARTINI and ROSSI. Another mid-priced champagne/Asti to ring in the New Year.

Very Special Occasions and Celebrating Book Releases: Veuve Clicquot, Moet & Chandon, Taittinger.

Blush: Pink, Sweet and Sparkly

Extra Dry: Medium Dry

Brut : Very Dry

Asti: Very Sweet and Bubbly

Book Blurb: Manhattan Holiday

Recently jilted, legal assistant April Sutton is ready to find a way to forget her ex-fiancé and the heartache she’s been carrying around snowy Manhattan. With the New Year holiday approaching she’s determined to restart her life. Never in her wildest dreams does she expect a last minute marriage to dynamic Roman Vasquez, along with a sultry weekend trip and a romantic dream wedding, to do the trick.

In order to meet the New Year’s Eve deadline of his grandfather’s will, successful developer Roman Vasquez will do whatever it takes. Even if it means giving up his bachelor status and convincing an unwilling April Sutton to tie the knot. Although he finds all it takes to persuade her is—one kiss, a contract, and the wedding of her dreams.

Will Roman and April keep it all business...or let the magic of the holiday season, along with meddling friends, family, and hidden feelings turn their temporary whirlwind marriage into everlasting love?

You can find me at

*Available in

Print/eBook at:


Barnes and Noble

The Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Interview with Author PATY JAGER

Today I’m interviewing Paty Jager . Her book, Secrets of a Mayan Moon is an Action Adventurer Romance and was released on August 4th.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

Sarah, thank you for having me here today!

Doctor Isabella Mumphrey has a genius IQ and a fascination for Native American studies because she is one eighth Hopi. This fascination and near photographic memory has made her an authority on the artifacts and hieroglyphs of the People. Part of her interest is in connecting the tribes of Central America to those in North America. She is losing her funding at the university when her mentor archeologist Virgil Martin calls and dangles not only the money she needs to keep her department open but also the chance to decipher an ancient Mayan ceremony.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?

This book is an action adventure romance. The story takes place in the Guatemalan Jungle at an archeological dig. There are artifact thieves, drug traffickers, and someone out to reenact a human sacrifice. Amid all this danger an attraction and romance build between Isabella and Tino, a DEA agent.

I have books out in the genres of historical western romance, contemporary western romance, and historical paranormal romance.

How did this story come to be?

This story came about after I complained to a friend that I was disappointed in a book that was dubbed an action adventure romance. She dared me to write what I thought an action adventure book should be, and we brainstormed the basics of the book while driving to a writing retreat.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

I wrote six manuscripts before I sold. It was the sixth one that was contracted by Wild Rose Press. Yes, I sent them to agents and editors and now after being published I can see why they were all turned down. While myself and family and friends thought they were good, I had a lot to learn about craft- goals, motivation, and conflict and just writing an interesting sentence.

What is your writing routine like?

When I’m in direct writing mode(not busy with promotion) I’m at the computer by 7am answer e-mails, drop by a few blogs, and FB. I have breakfast about 8-8:30 and do outside chores. Then I’m back at the computer by 9-9:30 and write until noon. I take a break for about an hour again eating lunch and doing household chores. Then I’m back at the computer by 1pm and work until 4 or 5 depending on what I have to make for dinner. In the winter I may go back on the computer an hour or two after dinner but that’s to socialize and do promotion. In the summer my hours aren’t as strict because I have haying and irrigating to do along with the usual. And I try to get in an hour horse ride. The thing I’ve learned is you HAVE to sit in the chair and turn the computer on if you want to write. A book can’t be published if it’s sitting in your head.

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

I like to do blog tours like this one when a book comes out. Then I pop on other friends’ blogs now and then. I have book marks, calendars, and a tri-fold flyer with all my books. I do book signings, teach workshops at conferences, and have a monthly contest on my website. The only help I have is my daughter who designs my covers and helps me with bookmark designs and posters.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

The most rewarding thing about being a published author is receiving e-mails from a reader and hearing how much they enjoyed the book. As a child I read to experience new places and cultures in an enjoyable way and that’s what I hope my books do for others. Maybe teach them one thing they didn’t know and have an enjoyable ride along the way.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Yes, I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 1998. It has been the catalyst that helped me hone my writing and put me in contact with other writers who have helped me along the way. It’s a great organization for someone starting out in this profession. I’m also a member for several RWA chapters, again, the camaraderie with other writers is so valuable. I also belong to a local writing group Central Oregon Writers Guild. It’s nice to have

some local writers to visit with now and then. Writing is a lonely profession and when you first start out and have the characters in your head you think you might be crazy, but then you meet and talk with other writers and you realize you aren’t alone. There are other people walking around with characters in their heads too. ;0)

What’s next for you?

I’m just about finished with the second Isabella Mumphrey book and then I’m going to start a mystery series set at a ski area in Northern Idaho. A half Nez Perce artist will be the protagonist who helps solve crimes through dreams from her dead grandmother.


Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

A little bit about the author

Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.


Isabella climbed out of the boat, keeping as much distance between her and Tino as possible. He’d humiliated her, and she couldn’t get away from him. They were stuck together tonight and all of tomorrow until he delivered her to the dig. His taunting her with a kiss and then drawing away as if she were some vile creature hurt as deeply as the things Darrell Rutley had said to her face in grad school.

She walked into the forest, hunting for a place to have a few moments to herself.

“Do not go far,” Tino called in his seductive Latin accent.

She cursed her reaction to his voice, raised a hand acknowledging his order, and tromped deeper into the trees. The murmur of the river faded away in the steady drone of mosquitoes. She slapped at the leaves on the plants and wandered deeper. Rustling in the underbrush shot her heart into her throat. Jaguars were nocturnal weren’t they? A small, furry, pig-like animal trotted across her path, followed by five smaller versions.

She giggled at her jumpy nerves and the animals’ comical parade as she watched the last one disappear through the greenery. The waning light enlarged the shadows. Reluctance played war with her logical self. She should return to the boat before darkness descended and she couldn’t find her way back. But her pride, something she usually didn’t consider, wouldn’t let her face Tino.

Not yet.

It was stupid to believe he wanted to kiss her. Tino was handsome, virile, and so unlike any of the men she’d met during her college days or professionally. Exactly the type who toy with women like me. His chivalry and her attraction to him made her feel attractive, something she rarely experienced. But the way he brushed her off after he’d initiated the kiss... He’d only proved he could kiss her and not that he wanted her. She mentally slapped herself at her stupidity and virginal cravings.

The walk hadn’t settled her anger. Reliving the event only escalated her rage.

How could one be a genius yet stupid about life lessons?

She pulled out what she now considered her knife and hacked at the plants along the way. With each swing she lopped off something of Tino’s. Blue penetrating eyes. Devastating smile. A hand, so good at soothing her. The other hand. Her smile grew, and her frustration turned to the healthy exhaustion of an extensive taekwondo class.

Isabella wiped a sleeve across her sweaty brow and heaved a sigh of contentment. The vigorous exercise worked wonders on her disposition.

A fierce roar vibrated through the trees.

How can my readers buy your book?
Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

You can find more information about Paty Jager and my book, Secrets of a Mayan Moon by visiting my website, or my blog at

Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.

1) What’s your favorite movie?

It’s a toss up between Burlesque and The Proposal

2) What is your favorite TV show?


3) What is your favorite drink?

Hot Chocolate

4) Who is your favorite author to read?

There are too many to name just one.

5) What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere my husband or family are.

6) What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

When you get feedback on a story let it sit a day and think about what they said. Sometimes it hurts or makes you angry but usually if you step away from your feelings and take a good look you can see that maybe they were right and there are ways to make the story better.


This post is part of a two week blog tour. I love to give and you could be the winner! I will be giving away a $5 egift card to a commenter at each blog stop and will give a bag full of goodies to the person who follows me to the most blogs and a gift to the host who gets the most commenters. You can find the blog tour hosts at my blog:

 or my website:

Thank you for having me here today!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview with Author CYNTHIA OWENS

Hello to everyone, and especially Sarah, my Celtic Hearts Clan sister and friend. Thanks so much for having me here, and thank you for allowing me to talk about my historical romance novel, Coming Home, the second book in my Claddagh Series. I’m so pleased to be here. AND I’ll be giving away an autographed paperback copy of Coming Home to one lucky commenter. So put the kettle on the hob, settle into your favorite chair, and share some of my memories of Ireland.

Coming Home is the unintentional sequel to my first book, In Sunshine or in Shadow. I hadn’t planned to write a sequel, but the characters called me back to Ballycashel, the tiny, wind-swept West-of-Ireland village where both books are set.

Visiting Ireland was a long-held dream of mine, not just for research purposes, but because I’ve always felt connected to the country somehow. And on July 11, 2009, when the ferry docked in Dublin, I felt I’d arrived at my heart’s true home.

We drove off the ferry and into a curtain of magical mist that turned into a true Irish downpour. It rained steadily throughout the day, as we drove from Dublin to the village of Feakle, in County Clare. Our cottage there could have belonged to Ashleen and Cavan Callaghan, hero and heroine of Coming Home. Its stone walls, thatched roof, and the lovely warm hearth sizzling with sods of turf made me feel as if I’d gone back in time. That night, I sat in a rocking chair before the turf fire, listening to Irish music and just absorbing the Irish atmosphere.

And I felt like a character from one of my own stories.

Naturally a visit to Ireland isn’t complete without touring at least one castle. The first one we visited was Bunratty Castle, located in County Clare. It’s a spectacularly beautiful castle dating back to Medieval times, complete with winding staircases and amazing views from the battlements. It was also a gold mine of research opportunities because it has a folk park designed to look like a Nineteenth Century Irish village. It was at Bunratty Castle that I found Tom Flynn’s cottage. Loop Head House was the cottage of a farmer/fisherman, just like Tom Flynn, one of my favorite characters in Coming Home, and one of my favorite secondary characters in the Claddagh Series. A minor character in In Sunshine or in Shadow, Tom plays a major part in the love story in Coming Home.

On another day, we had the great good fortune to visit Thoor Ballylee, a fortified 13th Century Norman tower, once home to the great Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. The grounds were lovely, the “Winding Stair” dizzying, and the view from the very top of the tower was both breathtaking and terrifying – at least for me, as I’ve always been afraid of heights. We even got to see Yeats’s bed! Three years later, I feel incredibly lucky to have visited Ballylee. The autumn and winter of 2009 were severe, and the tower was damaged by heavy flooding. Sadly, the tower remains closed to visitors to this day.

It was hard to leave Ireland. The green fields, the soft mist, the incredibly friendly people, the atmosphere, was sheer magic. Ireland is like a lover, and once you meet her, she’s impossible to forget. She takes your hand in a gentle clasp, urging you forward into a world of mist and magic. She touches your heart, fires your spirit, and fills your soul with a yearning to remain always.

And I can’t wait to go back!

Sarah, thanks so much for hosting me on your beautiful blog!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Coming Home.

And watch for Playing For Keeps, Book III of the Claddagh Series, coming soon from Highland Press!

Book Blurb:
“A woman’s love is strong, more powerful than all the ghosts in Ireland..”

Daughter of an Irish village girl, step-daughter of the landlord, Ashleen O’Brien has lived between two very different worlds. But after a year in America, she yearns to return to the green land that is her heart’s home.

War and betrayal have taken everything from Cavan Callaghan – his home, his family, and the woman he loved. A hero of the Irish Brigade at Antietam, he’s searching for the family he never knew.

Love and deception await Cavan and Ashleen along those emerald shores, as the ghosts of a past that can never quite be forgotten rise to threaten their newfound happiness.

You can find me at my website:
On Facebook:

Follow me on Twitter: @Cynwrites1 Buy Coming Home here:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Interview with Author NANCY LEE BADGER

Highland Game Traditions-Fur, Feathers, & Kilts

Heart of Romance Blog

Nov 9, 2012 by Nancy Lee Badger

The Highlands of Scotland are 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. Luckily for America, many decided to join the citizens of the brave new world across the sea, settling here and in neighboring Canada in the 17th century.

Americans and Canadians remember their Scottish roots by attending Highland Games. Held in many parts of both countries, these games are open to any and all for the price of a ticket. Shorts-clad or in full Highland dress, people come together for one to four days and eat Scottish food and drink whisky. (Fact: Whisky bottled in Scotland has no ‘e’)

Visitors and volunteers, demonstrators and athletes parade around in their plaids and armor. Where else can one watch young men (and women!) toss a caber, a heavy hammer, stones, and sacks of hay? Music of the Highlands fills the air. Bagpipers, drummers, and lassies in their dancing finery grab people's attention. Men strut with a dirk at their side, a sgian dubh in their sock, and a Claymore on their backs while women cock an eyebrow and enjoy the view.

I love animals, and when I visit games that have animals as part of the festivities, I can’t help but smile. In fact, the sheep dog trials at the New Hampshire games are a favorite and I enjoyed them last September. When I visited the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta last October, sheepdogs topped the list of demonstrations I vowed not to miss. Five dogs performed this year. One herded a flock of mallard ducks. Another herded sheep through a slalom where kids were the poles!

Another favorite of mine are the heavily-furred, orange-coated Highland Cow. (Fact: they can be red, yellow, dun, black, or brindled) One small calf was in a corral, and I loved its sweet face.

A more impressive group was the falconers. Men and one woman stood or walked through the encampment with a bird of prey are their gloved arms. The birds were of various ages and dispositions, and I loved listening as the falconers gave their talks. Each bird had the most intelligent glint as they stared right back at me. (Fact: using a method of measuring avian intelligence in terms of a bird's innovation in feeding habits, the falcon and the crow family scored highest on this scale according to Louis Lefebvre.)

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. Clasps kept them in place, and the heavy wool could also convert into a hooded garment and a bedroll. Modern kilts display the ‘colors’ of a clan. Banners, shirts, sashes…this is how modern folks, who want to feel a part of a Scottish clan, wear to ‘belong’. Love the colors,

and made sure I included kilted hunks on my book covers. (Fact: many clans have more than one official tartan: ancient, hunting, modern, etc.)

WANT TO WIN MY BOOK? Do you have a family surname you think could be of Scottish ancestry? Clans are compiled of dozens of septs. These surnames are listed on charts and in books. People visit the tents at Clan Villages to see who they might belong to. Share a name with me, and I will choose one winner to receive an ebook of my latest release, My Banished Highlander.

Want to visit Scottish Highland Games? Check out these websites: Grandfather Mountain Highland games- North Carolina  New Hampshire Highland games and Festival  Stone Mountain Highland Games- Atlanta GA

Loch Norman Scottish Highland Games- Huntersville NC / Pugwash Gathering of the Clans, Nova Scotia

Book Blurb

When his clan convicts Cameron Robeson of thievery, kidnapping, and treason in 1598 Scotland, the last thing he thought his cousin would do was banish him to the future. With revenge against Laird Kirkwall Gunn fresh on his mind, and the image of a woman left behind weighing on his heart, he passes the time doing an old woman’s bidding. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the New England Highland Games, he dreams of returning to his time, alone. His plans go awry when a comely lass wearing the Mackenzie plaid lands at his feet.

Worried about her friend lost in the past, Iona Mackenzie searches for answers among the tents and vendors at the New England Highland Games. She needs help, but who can she trust? Her father? The handsome blacksmith? Or, the Viking look-a-like. The tall, golden-haired Highlander makes her legs turn to jelly. Too bad she’s shoved romance to a back seat. Saving her friend, Haven, is her only priority, no matter how sweet the man can kiss.

When a magical amulet, an ancient book of spells, and an angry sorcerer send this unlikely couple back through time, more than one heart will be broken. When danger, intrigue, and threats surround them, feelings between Iona and Cameron grow hot and steamy. They team up with Cameron’s enemies to fight the sorcerer and search for Haven—Iona’s friend and the woman Cameron plans to steal from his cousin to make his own. Will the strong-willed Highlander and the present day witch stop fighting long enough to listen to their hearts?

Buy Links for My Banished Highlander

Amazon Buy link Barnes & Noble: AllRomanceEBooks: Smashwords: KOBO: Now Available in Print!

More About the Author:

Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games. She also writes as Nancy Lennea, and is a proud Army Mom.

Website Blog:

Thanks Nancy for joining me here at Heart of Romance!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Interview with Author CALLIE HUTTON

Conflict: Contrived or Real?
By: Callie Hutton

Whatever genre you’re writing in, a reader expects conflict in the story. I mean, if there was no conflict, if everything was coming up roses, who would read the book? The hero and heroine have to be tortured. They have to suffer. Tears, recriminations, betrayal. Ah, the basis of any good love story.

In my recent release, A Prescription For Love, I tortured Heidi and Michael so much, tears came to my eyes as I read it over. Oh, did I make them suffer! Hehe. But, because it was a romance there was the typical HEA, even though I made them crawl through fire to get there.

As much as I love to read romance, there are a few types of conflict that cause me to throw the book across the room. Hmm. Well, not exactly anymore, since I read most of my books on my Kindle. They don’t tend to hold up well when you smack them against something hard.

The Let’s Talk conflict. When you have a conflict where a five minute conversation will end the angst, and neither one will instigate the conversation that will end it, I get annoyed. Unless there’s a good reason why they can’t talk. I mean, if one character is in a coma, all right. I won’t toss the book. If one of them is being blackmailed—as in A Prescription For Love—I’ll allow that. And if the misunderstanding is cleared up quickly, no problem there either.

Sometimes I want to scream at the heroine. “Just ask him!” I read one book where a two word sentence would have cleared up the conflict. Sigh. No patience for that.

Another type of conflict that drives me crazy is the one where the heroine knows someone (usually another woman) has an agenda, but the heroine believes what the nasty person tells her about the hero. It’s usually something horrible that makes the heroine cringe. Hello? Haven’t you noticed Miss I’m telling you this for your own good wants the hero, and hasn’t made a secret of it? So why would you believe this?

Again, if it only goes on for a page or two, I’ll suffer through. But if the conflict goes on for chapter after chapter, watch out for flying objects.

In my recently released Christmas novella, Miss Merry’s Christmas, the heroine overhears a conversation, and misunderstand what she hears. Nosey woman pays price. Because I didn’t want to lose my readers, as an author might have lost me, I resolved it all quickly.

For some bizarre reason, betrayal causes me anxiety in a book. If it appears a hero or heroine has been betrayed by the other, I get very upset. “No, no.” I shout at the page (sorry—Kindle screen). “He didn’t really do that. It only looks that way.”

I have been known to put aside a book with a strong betrayal conflict because it genuinely upsets me. Don’t tell me I’m nuts because I’ve reached that conclusion long before you read this.

Well now that you know my likes and dislikes. What about you? How do you feel about conflict? Are there any that annoy you? Or cause you anxiety?

Thank you so much for having me today. Here is the blurb for my release, A Prescription For Love:

Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1903. Betrayed by his fiancée’s infidelity eight years ago, pharmacist Michael Henderson vowed he'd never risk his heart again. But he doesn't anticipate the tug of attraction he shares with his new employee.

Heidi Lester flees her home, determined to prove to her overprotective parents she can conquer her debilitating asthma, to make a life of her own. However, her unscrupulous fiancé has no intention of letting her go. He has his own plans for Heidi and her inheritance.

Will a scheme to ruin Michael's family force Heidi to marry her fiancé, or will assistance arrive from a surprising source to allow her to be with the man she truly loves?

Buy links: Amazon: , Barnes &Noble , Soul Mate Publishing

** Callie will give away to one winner their choice of a either A Run for Love (the first book in the series) or A Wife by Christmas (second book).***

Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. She’s had a number of articles and interviews published over the years, and finally decided to put her writing skills to the test and write novels.

Oklahoma is where she hangs her hat with her husband of thirty-six years, two young adult children, and three dogs. You can catch her hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and her home base, Stop by sometime and say hello.

Books by Callie Hutton:

Oklahoma Lovers series, #1, #2, #3

A Run For Love (Tori & Jesse)

A Wife By Christmas (Ellie & Max)

A Prescription For Love (Michael & Heidi)

An Angel in the Mail

Tessa’s Treasures

Miss Merry’s Christmas, coming October 31st

Daniel’s Desire, coming November 19th

All of Callie Hutton’s books can be found at  and

Author Callie Hutton