Friday Find: IN BED WITH A HIGHLANDER in eBook, only $1.99 for a limited time!
Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of erotic romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance, has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Bed with a Highlander is the start of a beguiling trilogy featuring three unforgettable brothers risking everything to save their clan and their legacy—and to surrender their hearts to love.
Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.
The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.
Guest Post: Donna Grant gives the 411 on her immortal Highlanders + Giveaway!
Thank you to Sue for hosting me today in celebration of my newest book – MIDNIGHT’S KISS.
For those unfamiliar with my Dark Warriors series, let me tell you a bit about it.
The Warriors are a group of Highlanders who are the greatest warriors of their family. By being so, they carry within their blood primeval gods that once unbound, not only make them immortal, but give the Highlanders enhanced abilities and special powers. They also transform by way of claws and fangs, but also each god has a color, so the Highlanders turn the color of their god when that god is released. IOW, when those Warriors are ready for battle. 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
New Release: The Recruit by Monica McCarty
About the book:
Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce is retaking his kingdom from the invading English. To win, he’ll need all the grit and courage of his elite band of warriors, the Highland Guard, men who fight without fear and love without limits. Read more
The influence of Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series by Monica McCarty + Giveaway
It’s hard to think of many authors who have had such a lasting influence on a genre, as Diana Gabaldon has had on Scottish fiction, particularly Scottish romance. Her OUTLANDER series helped to spawn an entire sub-genre of Scottish Time Travel Romance, with favorite authors like Karen Marie Moning (who brought me back to romance in the early 2000s), Janet Chapman, Melissa Mayhue, Veronica Wolff and many others.
Although OUTLANDER isn’t technically a “romance” (I’d call it Scottish fiction with elements of fantasy, romance and adventure), many romance readers became hooked on the genre after reading it. For many it was their first introduction to Scotland, its rich history, and those oh-so-sexy lads in plaid. Count me among them. Read more
New Release Review: Never Seduce A Scot by Maya Banks
The best praise of all is from your readers – listen to what an Amazon reader has to say about Maya’s Highlander series – 5 stars!
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.
BOOK REVIEW from Ing – 10 BOOK Giveaway, THE VIPER
Our winners – thanks everyone!! These ladies have been contacted via email – hope you were one:
Today only – 10 book giveaway on THE VIPER — winners announced by end of day in this post – US ONLY – Good luck!
The Viper by Monica McCarty
REVIEWED by Ing at AS THE PAGE TURNS
Book 4 of the Highland Guard series
Lachlan MacRuairi has been fighting for the last two years to get back to Isabella “Bella” MacDuff. Bella and the family and friends of Robert the Bruce were captured during a mission that Lachlan was in charge of. He was assigned to guide them to safety by Robert the Bruce. After their capture the English kept them prisoner for the last two years. Lachlan has blamed himself for failing to protect Bella and the rest of the group. Bella and Bruce’s younger sister have been punished the most severely by the English. Both have been imprisoned in a cage above two separate English strongholds.
For the last two years, Bella has cursed the sword for hire and scourge of the sea pirate, Lachlan. She trusted Lachlan and thought that he might have come to care for her. Bella has believed for the last two years that Lachlan betrayed them leading to their capture. She has kept her sanity and composure these last years with the thought that one day she and her daughter Joan will reunite. Bella has been fighting her way back to her daughter ever since she made the decision to help Robert the Bruce in his campaign to be the King of Scotland. The MacDuff family holds the hereditary right to enthrone Scotland’s kings. When Bella made the decision to crown Bruce as King in the years before her capture, she knew that she was risking everything to do what she felt was right. She believes that Bruce was Scotland’s best chance to help gain freedom from English rule.
From the moment Lachlan first laid eyes on Bella he experiences emotions that he tries to explain away as lust. Bella was married so neither acted on the undeniable pull between them. It’s been driving him crazy to know that Bella has been kept prisoner in such a horrific way. He and his fellow Highland Guards attempted a rescue mission previously without success but now he knows this time he’ll do whatever to set her free.
Second time is the charm and Lachlan successfully rescues Bella. The pull between them is still strong and this time there is no husband to come between them. However, Bella has reservations and doesn’t trust Lachlan, but she knows he is her best hope in helping her reunite with her daughter. Still, Lachlan is fighting the attraction and trying to maintain distance between them. But neither can fight what has been simmering for years. Will the bad boy of the Highland Guard and the heroine of Scotland risk it all for love?
It’s safe to say that the majority of Monica McCarty’s fans have been anticipating Lachlan MacRuairi’s story since The Chief. Lachlan’s character literally jumped off the pages since book one with his villainous persona and ‘I don’t give a shit about anyone else’ swagger. He was a mystery, and I for one wanted to find out what the heck makes this man tick. I was nervous about reading this book since I had built it up so much in my head. I was afraid that I would be left wanting but have no FEAR folks…Monica stepped right up and freaking knocked a home run for me. This book delivered and delivered and blew past my expectations.
Lachlan is not liked much but is respected for his skills within the Highland Guard group. His ‘I don’t give a shit attitude’ tends to rub people the wrong way. Readers finally learn the secrets of this man and oh what a heartbreaking past he has. Monica stayed true to the character of Lachlan in this story. Lachlan doesn’t apologize for who he is. You can either take him or leave him. But, the man that readers have been lead to believe has no morals or worries for others is so much more of a kind hearted man than I ever expected. I loved watching Lachlan fight the connection between Bella and himself. Bella’s stubbornness, pride and fighting spirit drives him crazy but these were also the reasons that made Lachlan want her more. I laughed every time Lachlan found himself worrying about her when he’s doesn’t give a fig about anyone else or when he realizes with just a touch of her hand on his arm can suddenly calm him and keep him from being an ass (or arse as like Lachlan likes to say..lol). I couldn’t help falling in love with this sexy gruff and brooding kilted man right along with Bella.
And wow what an amazing heroine Bella is. I knew that it would take a very special lady to worm her way into Lachlan’s heart. Boy did Monica give us a heroine for the ages. Bella is based off of a true Scotland heroine. Her fate in real life is vague. The real Bella was captured and imprisoned but no other accounts in history were recorded for her after the English moved her from the cage. So this is a great retelling of history and a much more fitting ending for Bella that Monica created in The Viper. Bella is a fierce lady. She defies England and her marriage to do what she feels is right. It takes some big balls to do that and survive all that she had to in this book. I related to her character very much when it came to the storyline surrounding her daughter. My heart broke for her and then it cheered for her.
And OMG do these two sizzle either in verbal battle against one another or in the loving. There were many poignant and beautiful moments between them. I loved watching them slowly open their hearts to each other and fall in love. It was also wonderful to be back in Scotland in the thick of things with these Highland Guards. I enjoyed getting to know some of the Guards that do not have a book yet. Gordon is one that I am definitely interested in. His character and interaction with Lachlan provided some of the lighter moments in this book. I love how the Guards like to needle and pick on each other. It was great seeing how far they have come and how effortlessly it has become for these men who are not clansman to work so wonderfully together. The epilogue that Monica added was a wonderful surprise and I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of Joan and a certain Guard.
From the first chapter and until the very last pages including the author’s note, I was hooked. I read it in one night and the no sleep look the next day was well worth it. Monica continues to amaze me with her storytelling enriched with real life historical figures and events and blends them seamlessly with the fictional romance all in her head. I highly recommend this book and this series for fans of highlander stories. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Question for you – what do you like about this time period and did this review help you decide if this was an author to try? Thanks for your comments!
Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks
In a tale of strong ties and true love, Maya Banks’s trilogy comes to its stunning conclusion, as the youngest McCabe brother uses sword and seduction to save his clan—and seal his heart.
Caelen McCabe’s young, reckless heart nearly destroyed his clan. Now, putting family loyalty above all else, he steps up to marry his older brother’s jilted bride and salvage the uneasy alliance between two clans. While beautiful Rionna McDonald is a fit wife for any man, Caelen trusts no woman, especially not this sweet temptress who torments him with white-hot longing.
As the sacrificial lamb in her father’s power game, Rionna will do her duty but vows to protect her heart and her pride from humiliation. Despite everything, though, the heat in Caelen’s touch melts her defenses, and she craves the sensual delights of a husband who guards his emotions as fiercely as his clan. But when the ultimate battle for the McCabe legacy is upon them, Rionna’s true warrior spirit emerges. She will risk the wrath of her father, the fury of her enemies, and her life to prove to Caelen that his wife’s love is too precious to lose.
Don’t miss books 1 & 2: In Bed With a Highlander & Seduction of a Highland Lass, in stores now!
The Viper by Monica McCarty
10/18 – 20, Check out AS THE PAGE TURNS BLOG & Win:
• Today’s (10/18) leave a comment under todays post and THREE readers of the blog will be entered for a chance at a copy of The Viper
• On (10/19) leave a comment under tomorrows post TWO readers of the blog will be entered for a chance at all the books in the Highland Guard series to date (The Chief, The Hawk, The Ranger and The Viper)
• On (10/20) leave a comment under Thursdays post and ONE reader of the blog will be entered for a chance at all of Monica McCarty’s books.
On sale October 18, 2011
The war for Scotland’s sovereignty rages on—as Robert the Bruce is crowned king and the Highland Guard, his elite fighting force of legendary warriors, battle for land . . . and love.
Prized for his snakelike stealth and deadly strikes, Lachlan “Viper” MacRuairi is a warrior to enlist but not to trust. His only loyalty is to his purse, his indifference sealed by bitter betrayal. All that changes when Lachlan is tasked to protect and deliver Bella MacDuff to the king’s coronation—and the proud, lushly sensual countess unwittingly challenges him to his greatest battle yet: to love again.
Passionate and devoted, Bella has defied Britain’s king and her own husband to place the crown on Bruce’s head, and for this she pays a terrible price: Losing her daughter and her freedom to her husband’s vengeance. Imprisoned with barbaric cruelty, she vows to reclaim her child, even if it means selling her soul—and her body—to a dark, lethal warrior whose eyes glint like steel, but who makes her skin tingle and her breath race. Together they embark on a rogue mission with sinister twists and turns that threatens not only Bella’s gamble to save her daughter—but also her heart.
Don’t miss other books in the Highland Guard series:
Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks
A warrior is caught between family loyalty and forbidden love in book two of bestselling author Maya Banks’s sensual new trilogy featuring three indomitable Highlanders.
Fiercely loyal to his elder brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put to the test his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires.
An outcast from her own clan, Keeley McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric’s keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice: Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?
Don’t miss book one in the Highlander Series – IN BED WITH A HIGHLANDER –