Gwyn Brodie loves Scotland, its amazing history, its wonderful people, and travels there whenever she can. While in Scotland she enjoys learning about her ancestors the Murray, Clark, Boyd, Ramsey and McTavish clans. She lives with her husband in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and besides writing Scottish historical romance, she also loves gardening, reading and refinishing old furniture.
Q: Welcome, Gwyn! Please tell us about your new release.
A: Beneath a Highland Moon is Book 1 of The Highland Moon Series. After her clan's castle falls under siege, the fair-haired Lady Jillian MacRae finds a way to escape with her four-year-old brother, seeking help from the handsome Kade MacLachlan, laird and master of Ravenskull Castle. Four years past their love had been strong—until her father betrothed her to another man who was later killed. Now, it is Kade she turns to for help in regaining control of her own castle from the wicked man who has taken over and intends to marry her. Once she is again face-to-face with Kade, she realizes the love she thought she'd put aside is alive and thriving.
Kade is speechless when the beautiful Jillian offers herself to him in exchange for protecting her young brother and banishing the intruders from her castle—an offer he is more than willing to accept. He has no intention of allowing her to slip through his fingers again. And when her life hangs in the balance, he will not let anything—or anyone—stop him from saving her, even as his own life dangles by a thread.
Q: This is a wonderful book! (I know because I read it twice. :)) What inspired this story?
A: Thanks! I have always loved reading Scottish historical romance, and decided to create my own series of Highlanders. I love everything about Scotland and enjoy traveling there whenever I have the chance.
Q: Why do you write romance?
A: I write—and read—romance because I like the emotional connection between the hero and heroine. And you always know beforehand that sooner-or-later, everything will turn out okay.
Q: That's true. I love the happily-ever-after. What do you enjoy most about writing?
A: When I'm writing, It feels like I become a part of the world I'm writing about, in some way. And I like that.
Q: How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?
A: Since the setting is 1600's Scottish Highlands, the language, clothing, customs, everything, was impacted by the setting.
A: I wanted the setting to be in the 1600's and in Scotland. I just needed to make everything else fit that particular setting.
Q: Which of your characters is most like you? Least like you? And why?
A: I would hope to be a bit like Lady Jillian, not in appearance or age, but I wanted her to be a strong female character.
Gordon MacRae is the least like me. He's a nasty fellow!
Q: That's for sure. How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I wanted to use old Scottish, Gaelic, or Celtic names. I searched different sites until I found names that seemed to fit my characters.
Q: Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: Yes, I chose it, for no particular reason. It just came to me and I liked it.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Scotland. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and love it here. But I would also love to live in Scotland for several months a year.
A: I have two favorites, Jillian and Kade. They both have been through a lot.
Q: Which part of this story is your favorite?
A: Probably Jillian's escape and then her kidnapping by the villain. I also really like when Kade rescues her.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: The more intimate scenes between Jillian and Kade. I spent a lot of time trying to get them just right.
Q: What inspires you? What motivates you?
A: I think wanting to write—and have people read--about love, romance and happiness inspires me and motivates me. And learning things I didn't know while researching also inspires me by giving me fresh ideas to put into my story.
A: Book 2, Galen's story, of The Highand Moon Series, Once in a Highland Moon, will be coming out in the fall of 2013.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be an author?
A: For as long as I can remember. I used to tell my younger sisters stories I made up. I would write poems and little stories all the time.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
A: I tend to write scenes that I want to use and decide later where they should go exactly, adding them as I write and as they fit the story line.
A: I've been published in several magazines, but Beneath a Highland Moon is my first novel. I quickly found out it is one thing to write a short story, but another to do a full-length book.
Q: What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before your book was released?
A: Proving to myself that I could do it! And now that I know I can, I don't intend to stop writing anytime soon.
Q: Yay!! What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
A: That if you don't start, you won't finish. I regret that I waited so long to do it!
Q: Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: Yes. Don't give up, never give up!
Q: What’s next for you?
A: At least three, maybe four, more books in The Highland Moon Series.
Q: Would you like to ask readers a question?
A: Yes, what do you like most about Scottish historical romance?
Everyone, please remember to answer this question or leave a comment along with a way to contact you if you are entering to win Gwyn's book. Thanks! Also please check out this romantic excerpt!
Excerpt of Beneath a Highland Moon:
Kade poured himself a second dram of whisky and drained the goblet. He couldn't get Jilly off his mind. She'd walked into Ravenskull two days ago and taken him over, both mind and body. Not only that—she'd taken over his dreams. She'd shoved the cloak from her head when she'd first arrived, and taken his breath away. Her beauty had hit him like a kick to the gut. She'd always been a pretty lass, but she had blossomed into a young woman of tremendous beauty. Her eyes were the same color as a still loch reflecting the blue sky above. How he ached to run his fingers through her long, blonde hair, and bury his face in it. It would smell as sweet as a Highland rose—Kade was certain of it. He'd noticed the intoxicating scent the moment he'd sat down on the settle beside her. And those full lips of hers. They were perfectly made for kissing, and he wanted to be the one to kiss them. Kade stood up from the chair. 'Twas late, but no matter. He had to see her.
Jillian had just crawled into bed, when someone softly knocked. Perhaps 'twas her mother come to tell her good-night. She opened the door. Kade.
He stood in the doorway, the scent of whisky on his breath. "Might I come in?" he asked, his voice low.
She hesitated. No man, other than her father, had ever stepped foot inside her bedchamber.
"I ken 'tis late, Jilly, but I must see you. I promise it won't take long."
The look in his eyes begged her to allow him entrance. She couldn't refuse. Jillian stepped aside.
He hurried into the room, locking the door behind him.
"If my father finds you in here, there's no telling what he might do."
"Aye." He nodded, but I had to see you."
He moved closer to her, his gaze settling on her lips. "Jilly, you make me daft. I'm as a thirsty man in need of a drink, and I'm afraid the only thing that will quench my thirst is a taste of you."
Her knees trembled and her heart raced.
He leaned down and gently brushed his lips over hers.
She closed her eyes, savoring the amazing sensation. Then he covered her mouth with his, devouring her. He tasted of whisky and smelled of sandalwood.
Slipping his arms tightly around her, he pulled her closer, softly moaning.
Her whole body feverish, she clung to Kade's shirt as she returned his kisses. His muscles felt hard beneath her fists and she yearned to touch him. Jillian let go of his shirt and ran her hands over his chest, his shoulders, his back. What was wrong with her? She could barely breathe.
He lifted his mouth away, leaving her wanting more kisses.
"Och, lass," he whispered against her throat, "I must leave you now or I'll not be leaving you at all this night." He kissed her one last time before her bedchamber door closed between them.
Jillian still trembled as she slipped beneath the covers, certain she'd get little sleep. Her whole body felt strangely different—more alive, all because of those marvelous kisses of his. Jillian knew she'd have been considered wanton if they'd been found out, but she wished he'd not left so soon. She'd never realized how much she might enjoy kissing and being kissed.
Kade stepped out of Jillian's bedchamber and immediately spotted Shaw, a good friend, and a MacLachlan guard, standing in the corridor. He'd obviously seen Kade leave Jillian's bedchamber. Shaw grinned broadly and gave him the signal that all was clear. Kade nodded his thanks and hurried back to his room. Once inside, he breathed a sigh of relief and grabbed up the whisky bottle, pouring himself another dram.
He'd believed that if he kissed her, he'd be satisfied—he was wrong. It had but whetted his appetite for her. And the way she'd passionately returned his kisses with a need that surprised Kade, had fueled his already heated body. When her hands moved over him, he knew he had to stop—before 'twas too late. As much as he hated leaving her, it couldn't be helped. Even now, he wanted her so badly that every part of him ached. She would be his. For Kade couldn't stand the thought of anyone else touching her.
The MacRaes had been at Ravenskull for over a week, when the snow storm finally blew itself out and the skies cleared. At supper that evening, Jillian's father announced they would be leaving for Lochstorm the following day—and her heart sank.
After the night Kade had come to her bedchamber, he'd decided it better he not return—for her sake—he'd said. But that hadn't kept them from being with one another during the daylight hours. In fact, they'd shared kisses in every nook and cranny of Ravenskull. But the more they shared, the more they wanted—and no longer just kisses.
The pale light of the full moon illuminated Jillian's bedchamber. Unable to sleep, she decided to go down to the MacLachlan's library and choose a book to bring back to her room. Lighting a candle from the still glowing embers of the fire, she pulled on her slippers, wrapped her cloak about her and quietly slipped out into the cold corridor. Jillian had gone no more than a few feet when she heard the sound of footsteps behind her. Her first thought was to hurry back to her bedchamber and lock the door, and then a familiar deep voice whispered her name. Kade. An instant wave of excitement washed over Jillian. She stopped and waited for him to catch up to her.
"I'm glad you're awake, lass," he whispered, smiling down at her. For the past hour, I've been trying to decide whether I should risk knocking on your bedchamber door and wake you, or wait until morning to talk with you. Either way, I didn't want you to return to Lochstorm without us having a private word."
Whatever was he talking about?
"Come with me," he said, offering her his arm.
She took it, feeling the familiar and enticing warmth of his body beside her. "Where are we going?" Not that Jillian cared—not when she'd be with him.
Beneath a Highland Moon is available at Amazon, and Smashwords. Also please visit Gwyn's website at www.gwynbrodie.com.