Highland Moonlight & Interview w/ Teresa Reasor
Today I'm talking with Teresa Reasor about her first published Scottish historical romance novel. Check out this awesome cover, you guys.

First, a little about the author...

By day, Teresa Reasor works as an Art Teacher of six hundred and fifty elementary students, and by night as a part time college instructor. But every other moment---she lives in worlds bound only by her imagination, with characters she knows as well as her own family. Now that two of her three children have left the nest, she resides in a small town in Kentucky with her husband of thirty-one years, her daughter, and a menagerie of animals.

Highland Moonlight, is her first published Historical Romance. She’s just signed a contract for her second Historical, Captive Hearts, also being published by The Wild Rose Press. She has a children’s book available, Willy C. Sparks, The Dragon Who Lost His Fire, which she wrote and illustrated.

Please tell us about Highland Moonlight.

Seduced and shamed by Alexander Campbell, the warrior to whom she is betrothed, Lady Mary Mac Lachlan flees to the Campbell stronghold of Castle Lorne and demands sanctuary from Alexander's father. Though Alexander seduced Mary for her own protection and his men’s, his actions have greater repercussions than expected. His betrayal destroys Mary's trust and his belief in himself as a man of honor. Determined to heal the breach, and claim Mary--who now carries his heir--as his wife, he follows her to Lorne and finds himself brought before a council of arbitration on charges of rape. When Collin Mac Lachlan, Mary’s father tries to coerce her into testifying against Alexander, Mary refuses. But when violence threatens to break out between their clans, Mary is forced to wed him to fulfill their betrothal agreement and save him from the executioner. Amid the hostilities between their clans and the wounds inflicted on her heart, can Mary find the love and happiness she's always craved or will she discover she's been chasing a dream as illusive as Highland Moonlight?

Sounds fantastic! Do you have a review you could share with us?

Highland Moonlight was just released in download format April 13th, 2007. It will be released in print June 8th. I’m still waiting for the reviews to come in. I know the book has been sent out to several places for review, so I’m playing the waiting game to see what they say. In the meantime here are two quotes...

Love is no match for warring Scottish clans until gutsy Mary Mac Lachlan makes her stand. Teresa Reasor's debut will keep you reading!
--Award-winning author Joanne Rock

"Brimming with passion...a Scots tale of romance you won't want to miss!" --Award-winning author Joanne Rock

I'm sure the reviews will pour in soon and they will be glowing. What do you enjoy most about writing historicals set in Scotland?

Though the entire country is hauntingly beautiful and diverse, I love the people. They had such an indomitable spirit and courage, even when faced with horrible odds in battle, or when terrible atrocities were visited upon them after Culloden. They held on to their culture and their identities as a separate people, even though they weren’t allowed to play their bagpipes, speak Gaelic, or wear kilts. I believe that’s what makes them such romantic subjects for writers.

Though my book is set in Medieval times, 1328, during Robert the Bruce’s reign, that too was a time of turmoil and bloodshed. I believe I was able to capture in Highland Moonlight, some of what makes a Scot a Scot.

Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.


It’s very difficult for me to choose. I have so many characters in the book for whom I developed an affection. They became very real to me. I really liked my main character Mary. She’s strong and feisty, and faces things head on, even when she’s scared. I believe Alexander, my hero, comes across as a warrior through and through, and after fifteen years of fighting for the Bruce he’s seen too much bloodshed and heartache. Both my characters are seeking home and peace, but they struggle against some real conflicts, personal and external, before they find it.

What inspires you?

It can be some small smattering of information I run across in a book, or on the net. Braveheart certainly inspired me while I was writing Moonlight, but I drew most of my inspiration for the book from the characters themselves. I started out doing research on what hand fasting really meant and the ins and outs of the custom, and I was off and running with the plot.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As soon as I could read. I’ve written forever. But I didn’t really push to get published until seven years ago when my father died. He was such an inspiration. He did some amazing things during his lifetime, three of which was to survive three wars, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. When he died, I really woke up and realized that if I wasted one more second of my time, I wasn’t going to accomplish what I really wanted to do. So I started pushing myself and sending my manuscripts out to editors.

I want to leave something of myself behind for my children to be proud of. And I want people to read my words and feel that the characters I create, the lives they live, the conflicts they face, are worthwhile and memorable. But most of all I want my stories to touch their hearts. If you can do that, you know you’ve done things right.

That's very touching and inspiring. Thank you, Teresa, for being our guest here at Fierce Romance! I can't wait to read this book

Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview. I really enjoyed doing it.

Everyone, please visit Teresa's website for excerpts and ordering information at
http://www.teresareasor.com
Age and Ability
As many of you know, I’m one of the Geritol Generation writers. My venture into the publishing world didn’t happen until I was nearly sixty. At the time I was concerned that possibly I was taking the leap at an age that the jump might just break a hip. In my concern, I did a little research and found that I’m not as rare “old duck” as I had thought.

There have been many wonderful authors that took their first steps into print at ages near my age and continued writing well into an advance age. I’ve been told that the mind is like any muscle, it needs to be exercised. What better way to do a little gym time for the mind then to write.

One of my most favorite author, P.D.James recently had her book made into a movie. At the age of 72 Ms James created, The Children of Men. It was her look into the scary future of our planet in the year 2021. What a muscle her brain must have to be able to create something as imaginative and foreboding as that story.

Recently the publishing industry lost one of our greatest authors, Kurt Vonnegut. Mr. Vonnegut was also an individual that didn’t let the number on his birth certificate shackle him. So if there are any new authors that feel that possibly they’re too old to take that leap, remember the many that went before you, and if you add my name to the list I will be extremely honored.
Sloan
Getting to know Nicole North
Hi All,
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing one of Red Sage Publishing’s new authors, Nicole North.

SS: Nicole, could you tell everyone a little about yourself?

NN: Sure here is my official bio....
Nicole North writes sensual and erotic romance novels, novellas and short stories. She has seen several of her short stories published in national magazines and has recently sold her first novella, “Devil in a Kilt,” to Red Sage Publishing for inclusion in a Secrets anthology. Her works have finaled in over a dozen writing competitions and won several awards. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her writing articles have been published in several newsletters. Her favorite hobbies are reading, watching movies or TV, listening to music, and jewelry making. She and her husband live in the Southeast.

SS: The official bio is very informative, now could you give us something a little more personal?

NN: To add to this... I love all things Scottish. Surely the Highlands of Scotland is the most beautiful and haunting place on earth. And nothing is sexier than a hot man in a kilt! ;)

SS: I definitely agree with you on both points. Would you share with us what your book is about?

NN: A trip to the Highland Games turns into a trip to the past when modern day psychology professor Shauna MacRae touches Gavin MacTavish’s four-hundred-year-old claymore. What she finds is a Devil In a Kilt she’s had erotic fantasies about for months. Can Shauna break the evil curse imprisoning this shape-shifting laird and his clan before an evil witch sends Shauna back to her time?

SS: How would you describe the story in one sentence.

NN: It’s basically Sex and the City meets Braveheart.

SS: Great analogy. Since we agree that nothing is sexier than a hot man in a kilt, can you tell me something about the “Devil” character?

NN: Some people probably assume Gavin's a demon of some sort. Not true. He's a 17th century Highland chief who has been cursed by a witch of the dark arts. He shape-shifts into a hawk at dawn and back into a man at dusk. He is also a fierce warrior who kens well how to wield a sword. His eyes have a wicked look about them (light blue with a darker ring around the outside of the iris) and he has a tendency to give an intimidating "evil eye" look to anyone who displeases him. The clan also believes he turned a woman to stone. That's why the clan members nicknamed him MacDeevil, call him the devil's son, or believe he's possessed. They all feared him so much they ran away and left the castle and village. Only about 4 clan members remain. He very badly wants the curse to be broken so his clan will return and he will do anything to assure this. Protecting and caring for them is his first priority. Since no women will come near him, fearing he'll turn them to stone, he has been celibate for eight months. When the heroine, Shauna, shows up, he's more than ready to seduce her.

SS: Ok now I’m sure your readers are dying to know, is he based on someone you know, or just someone you’d wish to know? :-)

NN: He is based on someone I WISH I knew. ;) No matter the personality of the hero I create, which can vary, I give them the ability to feel compassion. That's important to me. I love writing alpha males but not jerky alpha males. They must have depth and a need to care, though they usually hide this vulnerable side and only reveal it to the heroine once they trust her.

SS: Your heros are the dream all us women would want in our lives. But I’m curious, what was the stimuli that sparked the idea for Devil in a Kilt?

NN: This story started out as a time-travel short story targeted at a now defunct magazine. Once that market was no longer an option, I decided to add to the story and flesh out the plot to include a shape-shifting hero, a curse and lots of sizzling sex. The first idea that came to me was to write a story that started at a Highland Games. I love Highland Games and attend them every chance I get. Often I see authentic swords displayed in clan tents. I used that for one of the early scenes in this story. The modern day heroine has been having dreams about the hero. He's taken over her imagination and her life. (She thinks of little else.) She wants her life back, but when she touches Gavin's sword (urged by a mischievous man who is a ghost) she travels back in time. One thing I had to do during the rewrite was to transform the heroine. I changed her name and her personality. Basically she is someone different from the woman I started with. Shauna has a snarky attitude and a dry sense of humor, but she is lovable too. She's a young, hip chick, though she doesn't care much about shoes. She lends a lot of unexpected humor to the story, and I feel she is part of the magic that makes the story work so well. She is light to Gavin's dark so they complement each other.

SS: Do you have other stories for Red Sage in the ready?

NN: I'm working on one now. It's a sequel to DIAK. Gavin had two friends, Torr and Brodie, who were with him and cursed at the same time, but now they live in different parts of the Highlands. Their curses took different forms and they don't shift into hawks, but other creatures. Hopefully all three will be able to break their curses and find love with the help of a good woman!

SS: Thank you so much for giving us an insight into Nicole North. I’m sure everyone will be on the watch for Devil in a Kilt. You’ll have to keep us posted when to dash out and get our copies.

On a personal note, I’m thrilled to be sharing this blog with you.
Talking with Sloan St.James
Today I'm interviewing Sloan St.James so we can all learn more about her and her new book.

Sloan, where did your inspiration or ideas come from for The Dark Shield?

When writing The Dark Plain a character came to me that seemed to scream at me and say..."Ok, I'll be in this one but you better write my story." Of course, I didn't have much choice not to write his story.

Please use 4 words to describe yourself.

Compassionate, Pleaser, Listener, and Bean Counter, ( I know that's two words)

Do you have an unusual writing quirk?

I have repeatedly tried to write during the day but it seems the creative side of my brain doesn't wake up until 10pm. I would consider that a quirk.

What's next for you or what are you working on now?

I'm in the process of editing The Dark Legacy, which is a prequeal in "The Dark" series. I've also finished up a reincarnation story entitled "Echoing Dreams" that is as near an autobiography as one can get if you check into past lives. :-)

What is it about Ireland and Celtic elements that draws you to write about it?

I could say it's my Irish heritage, but I think it's more the mystical qualities both Ireland and Scotland have. They're rich in legends and folklore that work on the imagination. It just seems like a good base for stories.

Please tell us about the hero and heroine of this book.

Conner Wolfe considers himself to be a good cop and a loving son, that just happens to be a liar and a murderer.
Di O'Dea is a compassionate nurse, and willing to give her life for those she loves, and does.

I can't wait to read your book, Sloan. I've ordered it. It's supposed to be out in June, right? I know it will be a deep, emotion-filled treat!
Thank You
Hi Everyone,

First, I want send out a big congratulations to Vonda for taking first place in the SMRW Laurie Contest!!!

Next, I would like to thank my very dear, and longtime friend, for inviting me to join her on her blog. This is such a thrill for me. What makes this experience even more exciting is that I’m sharing it with a friend.

I’m not sure what you all know of me, or my work, but as Romantic Times editor, Liz French, wrote that I’m the grandmother that beat the system. That's because I didn’t have my first novel published until I was 59 years old. I know that’s a rather “mature” age to venture into a career like this, but I believe that things happen to us when they’re supposed to. Of course, I didn't mention that it took me a long time to learn how to write.

I had never taken a creative writing class, or even an online workshop when I started. So I knew absolutely nothing about writing. Yet, by a stroke of fate I found an amazing critique partner that showed me how to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I will forever be in her debt. Thank you, Vonda.

That brings up a subject that I thought might be a good place to start with my first blog. I know that many of you are just starting on the road to publication and are confused as to what makes up a good critique partner.

Finding a critique partner is like buying a new pair of shoes. You must try them on to see if the fit it's a good one. It might take you a few tries before you find the right critique partner, but that's ok. You have to remember that this is your work and your career that's on the line. So the fit must be terrific.

One of the most important things to remember is that the best critique partners are ones that don’t try to change your voice. They make suggestions. They might even smack your fingers when you’ve done something wrong, but whatever they do, you’re the one that must feel comfortable with them.

Once you find the right one you’ll see how they make your talent shine. They're truly their weight in gold. Thank you, Vonda for being the one brought out the brilliance in my writing.

Now, I hope I didn't monopolize the blog with babble my first time out. I thank you again for inviting me here. :-)
Sloan
Marie Antoinette
I watched Marie Antoinette (I know, I know, I'm behind the times) and some things about it surprised me, the most noticeable of which was how haunting the movie was. I think I dreamed about it all night and woke up thinking about it the next morning. Not many movies affect me this way, though intense books sometimes do. With all the visual splendor of the decadently rich setting, I didn't expect it to be so atmospheric. The panoramic views of the beautiful vistas (palace and gardens) with a few people or with Marie Antoinette alone looked incredibly lonely and sad. Marie Antoinette, though she had everything she could possibly want materialistically, did not have happiness much of the time. She seemed a beautiful bird in a gilded cage who was fully willing to take her position in an unfriendly court and even smiled in the face of it.

I was glad to see her find some small measures of happiness, with her children, her garden "village" and with her lover, before the terrible fate we know she had, but on which the movie thankfully faded to black.

She seemed oblivious to the plight of the starving people of France in much the same way a spoiled rich teen would be in today's society with her love of clothing, shoes and desserts.

Another unusual part of the movie was the music soundtrack, which at times seemed not to fit at all, especially the masked ball scene, with everyone in period costume, but the music sounded as if it came from a modern disco or dance club. This completely yanked me out of the movie until the song was over. I know they probably did this to appeal to a younger audience, but I don't feel that part worked. One song from the movie, however, is stuck in my head and even though it is modern, it fit fine where they used it.

This is a movie I highly recommend especially if you love historically set movies. It's one of the better ones I've seen.
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