Guest Post – Tilting My Kilt to the Poet Robert Frost by Nancy Lee Badger + $15 EGC Giveaway!
When nearly finished writing the third book in my Highland Games Through Time series, I realized I had forgotten to include a small story thread. This was my first attempt writing a series, and I heard how important it is to tie up loose ends. Jake Jamison, a secondary character in the first book, My Honorable Highlander, holds a book by a twentieth-century poet that my heroine says he should not be reading while standing in a historical village at a present day Highland games. Read more
Travel + Kilts +Photos = a Romance Plot by Nancy Lee Badger + Giveaway!
Sue asked me to talk a little bit more about my travels as an author. Recently, I went on several trips while collecting research for my stories. Besides getting some great plot ideas, I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. As I have gotten older (my birthday was November 13th) I realize life is short; I had better take it all in.
My memory being what it is, I jotted notes in a journal and used photography to help me remember my latest experiences. I have a small digital camera. Experimentation has proven irritating at times, like when I push the movie button instead of taking a simple photo. Grr! Read more
Romance Author Monica McCarty’s THE SAINT releases today – Do you want to be spoiled?
THE SAINT is the fifth book in my Highland Guard series, featuring an elite team of “Special Forces” warriors who help Robert the Bruce battle the English in the war for Scottish Independence (think SEAL Team 6 meets Braveheart). When I originally conceived the series, I thought it would be fun to use each warrior’s war name as the title for the book—à la aviator callsigns. But that decision had a very unintended result in that it “spoiled” some of the surprises I had in store.
I’d mapped out all the books of the series from day one, and with all the twists and turns I had planned I wanted to keep certain things secret—things like future storylines, whether someone would have a book, and “who’s next?” But I didn’t factor in the fact that books go up for pre-sale online months before the actual on-sale date, meaning my title was going to give away the future hero well before that book’s release. This came into play with the third book in the series, THE RANGER. Originally, I wanted Arthur Campbell’s role in the guard to be much more ambiguous—i.e. is he with them or not? But I ended up having to re-write portions of the second book, when it became clear that my “secret” was just going to be confusing—readers already knew he was going to be the hero of the third book. I’m still trying to keep future books secret for as long as I can, but the titles have definitely limited that.
Similarly there is a major plot spoiler in THE SAINT. I suspected that keeping it secret was going to be difficult, and so far this has proved to be the case. Probably at least half of the early reviews I’ve seen have given it away. Admittedly the “secret” doesn’t rise to the spoiler level of something like The Crying Game (anyone remember that, LOL?), but I think knowing ahead of time does take away some of the emotional impact.
I’ve begun to think that in today’s internet age, it’s almost impossible to keep such things secret. If I’m not caught up on my DVR’d TV shows, I’ve learned to avoid going on Twitter. Can’t tell you how many spoilers I’ve had simply by living on the west coast and accidentally going on Twitter or looking at my FB feed after east coast airtime.
Are you like me, do you want to be surprised? Do you mind spoilers? Do you (horrors!) seek them out? Remember, every week 5 random commenters are chosen to win a random free book – winners are announced on Sunday -good luck!
THE SAINT BLURB:
Robert the Bruce consolidates lands and loyalty in a bold war for Scotland’s independence, as his elite team of warriors, the Highland Guard, fight for king, country… and love.
Magnus MacKay is the ultimate Highlander: tough, proud, able to master any terrain, and best even the most ferocious enemy. Called “Saint” for his refusal to discuss women, as well as for his cool and steady leadership, Magnus’s war name hides a far more painful truth. It isn’t virtue or piety that keeps him silent, but a wound of love and loss that cuts so deep he cannot bear to speak of it. But when the woman who refused him is betrothed to his friend and fellow Guardsman, Magnus is tested by love’s battle cry.
A wild and innocent beauty, Helen chose family duty over her desire for Magnus. Now the anger in his eyes mirrors the tormented regret of her heart. But as deadly subterfuge stalks the King and his Guard, Helen vows to right her youthful mistakes with a woman’s determined spirit. Still, Magnus harbors secrets and an iron will not to weaken to temptation—or heartache—again. But as danger looms, it’s not the kiss of a saint, but a sinner, that can save them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Monica McCarty is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Viper, The Ranger, The Hawk, and The Chief, the first four books in the Highland Guard series, the Highlander trilogy (Highlander Untamed, Highlander Unmasked, and Highlander Unchained), and the Campbell trilogy (Highland Warrior, Highland Outlaw, and Highland Scoundrel). Her interest in the Scottish clan system began in the most unlikely of places: a comparative legal history course at Stanford Law School. After a short but enjoyable stint as an attorney, she realized that her career as a lawyer set against her husband’s transitory life as a professional baseball player was not exactly a match made in heaven. So she traded in her legal briefs for Scottish historical romances with sexy alpha heroes. Monica McCarty lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and their two children.