Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Romance Weekly Blog Hop

Time for another round of questions in the Romance Weekly blog hop!

1.     What is your writing process like?
I did a whole post on this last year, but here it is again:
  • I build a notebook for every book. It starts with research. I usually find an event in history, or someone who sparks my interest. I learn everything I can about them and use that as a framework for my outline.
  • Once I'm ready to write.
  • Start with a premise statement.
  • Write a 2-3 page general outline of the book/sequence of events.
  • Develop my characters--I identify their personality type, then I use a character profile sheet to make them into a real person and write their back stories.
  • I then use an Excel spreadsheet to plot each scene. I use a numbering system that allows me to insert scenes, because once I start writing, the gloves come off and my characters start taking over. Inevitably, the outline changes as the story comes alive.
  • Of course I then edit the hell out of it...that has become my favorite part.
2.     Do you listen to music to enhance your writing?
Yes, I listen to classical music. My favorite is the Celtic Harp

3.     What two songs best describe your overall body of work? 

Now that’s the weirdest question I’ve heard in a while. I don’t think any two songs could describe my work, but in the interest of the blog hop, I’ll give it a try. Beethoven’s 5th, because there’s always something going on and the hero and heroine get in into nerve wracking situations. Moonlight Sonata, because the story grows and grows until the big finish shatters everyone’s world. Yes. I guess I’m a Beethoven enthusiast…though I listen to JS Bach more. Love baroque...

The Best of Bach

Now I’m rambling J

With that, let’s hop to the next victim. Hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog: http://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com  I’ll bet she can express her work in terms of music better than I!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Captured by the Pirate Laird on Tour

For the next month I'll be touring with Bewitching Blog Tours. I'm giving away e-books, signed print books and swag with Amazon gift cards. Join the fun and enter the rafflecopter! I hope you can stop by! Here's the schedule:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 24 Character Interview
Eclipse Reviews

Feb 24 Spotlight
Love Saves the World 

Feb 25 Interview
The Simple Things in Life

Feb 25 Spotlight
Midnight Musings with Bertena 

Feb 26 Spotlight
Book Liaison – 

Feb 27 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

February 27 review
Musings of Mistress of the Dark Path 

Feb 28 Spotlight
Annette Gisby

Feb 28 Spotlight and review
Imagine a World

March 3 Interview
The Romance Nook

March 4 Interview and review
Book Bliss

March 5 spotlight 
Booklover Sue 

March 6 review
For Your Literary Pleasure

March 7 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.  

March 10 Interview and review
Dalene’s Book Reviews

March 11 Spotlight and review
Wicca Witch 4 Book Blog

March 12 review
Rookie Romance, 

March 13 Spotlight
Soaring Eagle Publicity

March 14 Interview and review
Hooked In a Book

March 14 review
Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind – 

March 17 Guest blog
Cherry Mischievous

March 18 Spotlight and review
My Favorite Things

March 19 Spotlight and review
The Book Review 

March 19 Spotlight 
All I Want and More 

March 20 Spotlight
BookwormBridgette's World

March 20 Spotlight and review
Darkest Cravings - Adult Blog

March 21 review
Lily Pond Reads

March 24 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!  

March 24 Spotlight and review
Victoria's Gossip

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Facebook Party & Romance Writers Blog Hop

Everyone's invited to the Captured Facebook Party. Today, February 18th, 5-8 pm Mountain Time: Join at any time or just stop by and comment (you would make my day): 


Today marks another three questions in the Romance Weekly Blog Hop! Below are my answers:

1.     How did you get the idea for your book?

I’ll assume we’re talking about my latest book, Captured by the Pirate Laird. After writing a couple of manuscripts based along Hadrian’s Wall during the Roman occupation, I was told no one wanted to read about Picts or that time in history. So, having always been a fan of Scottish historical romance, I drummed my fingers against my lips and decided I wanted to write a Scottish historical about a pirate. I had purchased a book on the history of pirates, and it fascinated me. So, I started researching Scottish pirates, and I found the perfect “laird” to write about.

2.     How did you decide on the title?

Captured by the Pirate Laird seemed perfect, especially since “Highland” is in the series title, Highland Force. This was one book where I came up with the title right away. That doesn’t always happen.

3.     What motivated you to get the book completed and published?
We’ll, I’m trying to do this for a living. I write every day. I write about four full-length (90K+ words) per year.

Visit Carrie Elks, next up for the Romance Weekly Blog Hop! http://carrieelks.com/blog

Monday, February 17, 2014

Official Launch Day!

Though we did a soft release, today is the OFFICIAL LAUNCH DAY for Captured by the Pirate Laird, book 1 in the Highland Force Series!

Those of you who know me, are aware of what I went through to bring this series to market. Last March, I was over the moon. I landed my agent. What couldn't go wrong? I was represented by the #1 agency in the country, Trident Media....Well not to beat a dead horse, rejections started coming in (and some publishers still haven't responded). Having been published by small presses before, I opted not to go through a second round of submissions.

I made the tough decision to go it on my own.

Later, I'll post about publishing on Create Space, and the whole formatting, book cover designing marketing journey, but that's not what today's about. MY BOOK IS OUT AND I DID IT MYSELF! What's cool? I've got two more books in this series coming out soon as well. I joined a NetGalley co-op, and AWESOME REVIEWS have been coming in. Joining a NetGalley co-op was a great decision for me, though I've heard mixed reports from others. I think your cover matters a lot as well as your genre.

So, with out further ado, here's the blurb to Captured by the Pirate Laird:

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?

Kudos to Kim Killion for an outstanding book cover design!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Have you Joined Blog Blitz?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ First up, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Fellow Blogger, DL Hammons, started the Blog Blitz about a year ago through his blog Cruising Altitude 2.0. I joined the team and we've been blitzing bloggers ever since. As I write this post, there are 368 members happily blitzing unsuspecting bloggers nearly every week. It's a fun and easy way to join and support like-minded bloggers.

So if you're not signed up, check it out here:

Also, I want to thank everyone who provided their opinion on my back cover copy yesterday. The score between the two options was so close, I took my favorite lines from each one and rewrote the thing entirely! BLOGGERS ROCK!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Need a Quick Opinion Please!

Help!! I've looked at this so long, my eyes have crossed, and I would be ever so grateful for your opinion. Which back cover copy do you prefer for my June release, Beauty and the Barbarian


Never before has Merrin seen a corpse. Oddly, the sight of the Highlander face down on the beach does not repulse her. Hidden away on the remote islet of Eilean Fladda, she’s curious—she’s scarcely seen a man in his prime. Brushing the hair from his face, her fingers connect with warm flesh. Warm.

Quickly, Merrin pulls the scarf across her neck to conceal the hideous mark of the devil—an ugly red mottling that prevents her from ever living a normal life. Then she barrows the fevered man to the cottage whilst he raves unintelligibly.

Ian MacLeod wakes to a woman so radiant, he believes her an angel. But when the lass shrinks from him, the Highlander fears she’s learned of his reprehensible deeds. While he heals, Ian pulls away her scarf, exposing her witch’s mark. Though she’s mortified that her secret has been revealed, he doesn’t fear her. Ian has become spellbound by Merrin’s allure. He’d do anything to erase his haunting past and earn her trust.

Once Ian’s location is exposed, the couple is forced to flee Merrin’s sheltered world. Fighting for survival, Ian wins Merrin’s heart, until destiny brings forth a tumult that may forever ruin them both.


Born with the mark of the devil, Merrin has been hidden on the Isle of Eilean Fladda for near twenty years. When the body of a Highlander washes ashore, the innocent lass presumes him dead. Brushing the hair from his face, she’s startled to discover the warrior’s scarcely alive. He’s in the throes of a fever that has him muttering unintelligibly about his evil past.

Ian MacLeod wakes to a woman so radiant, he believes her an angel. But when the lass shuns him, the Highlander fears she’s learned of the atrocities he has committed. While he heals, Ian uncovers her witch’s mark, yet he’s spellbound by Merrin’s allure. He’d do anything to erase his haunting past and earn her trust.

Once Ian’s location is exposed, the couple is forced to flee Merrin’s sheltered world. Fighting for survival, Ian wins Merrin’s heart—until destiny brings forth a tumult that may forever ruin them both. 

Please leave a comment with your preference. #1 or #2...THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Ideal Highland Hero

In a couple of weeks I will be participating in a blog tour for book one in the Highland Force Series, Captured by the Pirate Laird. One of the questions I was asked is, what is my ideal Scottish Highlander? I must say I really enjoyed answering that question, and there are so many redeeming qualities in my sixteenth century men:

1.      Total alpha male. These rugged warriors cannot afford to be passive. They have a duty to protect their clans and their women and nothing will stop them from doing so.
2.      Honor. The Scottish Highlander’s honor is his most treasured attribute, guiding his every decision. No one can strip away his honor.
3.      Respect and Chivalry. Both his honor and the code of chivalry ensure the Highlander will treat the heroine reverently, respect her virtue, and when in a crowd, he will make her feel as if she’s the only and most beautiful woman in the room.
4.      Ruggedly good looking. These Highland heroes are generally tall and sturdy, and definitely not pretty. With firm jaws, broad foreheads and intense eyes, there is no question who is in command when you enter their lair.
5.      Did I mention powerful? Their sturdy build and constant training tones their solid frames. A Highlander would be a good contender for Mr. Universe, though he’s not conceited about it. His muscular build is necessary for the protection of his clan.
6.      Well trained warrior. These men must be trained in the use of all weapons, and expertly wield a claymore, shoot arrows, and know how to handle a deadly dirk.
7.      A sense of humor. They don’t take themselves too seriously and know when to laugh at their own mistakes.
8.      Practiced lover. Any woman will swoon in their arms and consider herself completely ravished in the morning.
9.      Finally, my Highland heroes have a fervent passion for the heroine that drives them to the ragged edge of madness.

Who wouldn't fall in love with rugged warrior, who only has eyes for you, would protect you with his life, and speaks with a deep, lilting Scottish burr? *swoons* 

Captured by the Pirate Laird available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Romance Weekly Questions


I've started participating in the Romance Weekly blog hop where we answer three questions about...well about almost anything that pertains to writing romance novels!

1.    Do you have a favourite character from any of your books?

That's a difficult question for me to answer, because I enjoy my characters. I get to know them quite intimately (LOL). But of my published works, I guess my favorite is Calum MacLeod, Laird and Robinhood of Raasay. He's a rugged and loyal Highlander. He may be fierce, but he knows how to treat a lady and make her feel as if she's the most beautiful woman in the world. Last week I interviewed him on my blog...just page down to get a flavor for his character.

2.    If you were him/her what would you have done differently in their situation?

If I were Calum, I never would have taken Lady Anne to Carlisle or collected the ransom.

3.  Do you believe in the traditional HEA or do you think sometimes characters don’t need (or maybe deserve) them?

I've always followed the traditioinal HEA myself, but I do have a couple of critique partners who do not. Their work is good and enjoyable. I think as authors, we've been misled too long by what a few publishers think they want rather than readers. My own opinion on this, of course.

Next up is Lanora Mangano's blog. Hop on over there to see Lanora's answers to this week's questions.

Oh, and you're invited to join my Facebook Party to celebrate the release of Captured by the Pirate Laird on February 18th! Hope to see you there :-) CHECK IT OUT!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview with Calum MacLeod ~ Hero, Pirate, and Robinhood of Raasay

Reporter Amy Jarecki here. I’ll go anywhere for my story, and today I’ve time-traveled all the way to the Scottish Isle of Raasay in the year 1559. I was captured by Calum MacLeod’s men and marched into the massive fortress of Brochel Castle with my hands bound. After pleading with John, the master at arms, at last I’ve gained an audience with the Highland Laird.

Calum MacLeod is seated upon the dais in a red upholstered chair. He’s leaning forward, cradling his chin in one hand, while the other fist rests on his hip. Behind him, John stands at the ready, a big claymore on his hip and a dirk in his belt.

Calum eyes me from head to toe: Me men said ye want a word?

I tremble involuntarily under the power of his glare. His posture, his narrowed eyes, the slight scowl to his lips…everything about the man tells me he is not to be trifled with. But I’d risked too much to back away now: I’ve come to interview you for my blog tour. You’re featured in a novel and women everywhere would give their eye teeth for a chance to get to know you better.

Calum smirks and glances at John: Ye say women fancy this gruff, ruddy face? From what year do ye hail?

Amy: 2014

Calum: Och, ye mean to tell me I’m featured in a book near five-hundred years into the future?

Amy: Yes. A romance.

Calum: God on the cross, a bloody romantic tale? Why am I not in a seafaring adventure that tells tale of me privateering adventures?

Amy: Oh, there’s plenty of adventure…and piracy. But I’m here to interview you, not the other way around.

Calum: Ye’ll answer me questions else be thrown into the bay and swim back to yer time.

Amy: Excuse me, but I answered you. I believe I’ve earned the right to ask you something.

Calum: Aye? Then ye’d best speak quick, I’ve better things to do with me time than sitting on me arse chatting with a suspect time-traveling lassie.

Amy: Of course. Tell me, what went through your head the first time you saw Lady Anne.

Calum: Och, now I ken why yer tale is a romance…There was a fierce storm that night. Mind you, bad weather was in our favor. If we didna capture that ship, I dunna ken if the clan would have survived another winter. We thought we’d been thorough and put all the English bastards in skiffs headed to the mainland, but we missed one.

Amy: Lady Anne?

Calum: Aye. I found the locked stateroom . Expecting a bloody fight, I kicked in the door, sword at the ready, snarling like a badger. Wedged in the far corner of the room, the poor lassie was holding a knife, shaking like a sapling in the wind. But, och, she made me knees melt into boneless limbs.

Amy: What did she look like?

Calum: Perfection…Have ye ever looked at a woman and known in that moment she was the one?

Amy: I have—a man, that is.

Calum: I’ll nay forget the sight of her as long as I live. Her mane of honey blonde hair hung down to her waist, a lock covered one eye. When I moved closer, me hands itched to reach out and brush the wisp away so I could see both of her sapphire eyes. Light from a single lamp flickered gold across her face, her red lips formed a perfect bow, yet they quivered with fear.

Amy: She was afraid of you…

Calum: What wee lassie wouldna be quaking in her boots after listening to blood curdling screams and blasting cannons, hiding on a ship that’s being pillaged by yer enemy?

Amy: I see your point. But how did you win her heart?

Calum: I assure ye, that was no easy feat…one I’d wager is in yer romantic tale for certain.

Amy: Very true, Captured by the Pirate Laird reveals it all.

Calum: I’m afraid I’ve nay more time to give ye this day. Yer welcome to help yerself to a meal in the kitchen afore ye take yer leave.

Amy: Thank you, laird. And thank you for granting me an audience today.

Learn all about Calum MacLeod and the stately Lady Anne in the sinfully sexy romance, Captured by the Pirate Laird.