Guest: B.J. Scott & Highland Homecoming
With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.
C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the
dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small
business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting. shore
of Lake Erie
Q: Welcome B.J.! Please tell us about your new release.
A: Highland Homecoming is the third and final book of my Fraser Brother Trilogy. This story takes place in 1308, during the first war for Scotland’s independence. The book revolves around Highland patriot, Alasdair Fraser, the oldest and least likely of the three brothers to fall in love or to take a bride. However, when he finds a beautiful, unconscious lass on a beach in Northern Scotland and has no choice but to tend to her needs, he finds himself questioning his chosen path, torn between duty and desire. When she awakens, she has no memory of her past, but as she slowly regains her memory, she opts not to tell Alasdair what she recalls in a dream. The question is, will he drop the shield that guards a once wounded heart, or will the secrets she fails to reveal and his own stubbornness drive an impenetrable wedge between them?
Q: Sounds like a fantastic story. What inspired it?
A: As mentioned this it third book in my series. I am a history buff and love anything Scottish so writing a Scottish historical was a logical choice. In addition to being a romance, each book has allowed me to share some interesting information about Scotland’s first fight for independence with my readers.
Q: Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: Yes, I chose the titles for each of the books in my series. The title of the first book in the series, Highland Legacy, was something that came to me as being suited the theme behind the book. I figured it would be working title, but my editor decided she liked it and wanted to keep it. Each book in the series has a title that is fits the plot of the story. Highland Quest was about the youngest brother, Bryce, and his quest to get out from the shadows of his brothers and make a name for himself. This final book, Highland Homecoming is the final in the trilogy and despite his aversion to settling down and taking a wife, Alasdair, the oldest brother finds himself faced with a challenge and some decisions that will affect his chosen path.
Q: I love the titles. Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: My favorite place I have visited is Hawaii, but my heart belongs to Scotland. I hope to someday visit the birthplace of my paternal grandmother.
Q: I hope you do too! Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: I love Alasdair. In book one, Highland Legacy, we meet a larger than average, outspoken man who openly renounces love and marriage, but has a fierce loyalty to family, king and country. In book 2 we get to know him better, but he still comes off as being awkward and uncomfortable around women, a fierce warrior.
Q: Sounds like a setup for some wonderful conflict. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Being a Gemini, I was born with the gift of gab and need to tell a story. I have always loved reading and jotting down stories, but started writing in earnest in 2000. I joined an online writing group and enrolled in some college courses in creative writing. When my teacher asked if I had ever considered writing for Harlequin, I was not sure if she liked what she saw or thought it too sentimental and romantic. She said that is why she thought I was suited to write romance books. Since anything Celtic or historical is a passion writing Scottish historical romance seemed fitting. I wrote several manuscripts between 2000 and 2003 when I met my husband and real life got in the way of my writing. In 2010 I took out my books and started to submit to publishers, my husband being my biggest supporter.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
A: While I have the basic story line and characters planned out, I basically write as I go. Nothing is carved in stone until I write the end.
Q: Please describe your journey to publication.
A: I have always loved reading and started jotting down stories when I was a teen, but they were for my eyes only. In 2000 I joined an online writing group and enrolled in some college courses in creative writing. When I met and married my husband in 2003, I put my writing aside, but started writing again in 2010. I had several contemporary books written along with some romantic suspense, but my heart in historical romance so decided to start with my series. Finished in the fall of 2010, I started submitting to agents and editors, utilizing their helpful comments to hone my book. In Aug of 2011 I signed one of the first contracts with Soul Mate Publishing, a new publisher on the e-book scene and has grown by leaps and bounds over the last two years. My first book came out in Nov 2011. Requests for sequel prompted the writing of the second book and then the third.
Q: Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
Write from your heart and what you love and know about and it will show in your work. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.
Q: Wonderful advice. What’s next for you?
A: I am currently working on another Scottish historical entitled, Bedded by her Highland Enemy. This is a book I have wanted to write for a long time and finally have a chance to do so. I have a few other books in the works, including a time travel/ historical and an anthology of short Highland stories.
Awesome! B.J. is giving away a prize she made herself to one commenter today. Please tell us about them, B.J.
The readers choice of a Celtic Santa Christmas ornament or beaded book thong with Celtic charms.
They're beautiful! It would be difficult to choose. :) Here is an exciting excerpt from Highland Homecoming:
Northern Coast of
Summer 1308 Scotland
Hooves pounded against rocks, surf, and sand as Alasdair Fraser pushed his mount beyond reasonable limits. Few things rivaled the thrill and exhilarating rush of mastering the powerful destrier between his thighs, controlling the magnificent beast with reins and will. The wind whipped through unbound hair and the tangy scent of the salty sea air filled Alasdair’s nostrils.
He’d ridden hard all afternoon, hoping to reach the stronghold of his longtime friend, Jayden Sinclair. But the sun had slipped below the horizon, the twilight sky ablaze with orange, red, and purple hues. Darkness would soon be upon him and he’d be forced to make camp for the night. He licked his parched lips and his stomach rumbled. Many hours had passed since he’d last eaten, but a hot meal and a tankard of ale would have to wait. Water, oatcakes, and a bit of dried venison would suffice until he reached his destination.
He dug in his heels, and the steed surged forward. The more distance they covered before nightfall, the shorter the journey would be on the morrow. But as they rounded a bend in the shoreline, Odin faltered, reared up on his hind legs, then began to dance nervously from side-to-side. The battle-hardened warhorse didn’t spook easily so Alasdair took heed of the animal’s uneasiness.
With one hand resting on the hilt of his sword, the other fisting the reins, he carefully surveyed the immediate area. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, yet the niggling of trepidation gnawing at his gut led him to believe there was something amiss. He nudged the horse’s flank and the pair advanced with caution.
They’d only traveled a short distance up the beach when the sight of something a few yards ahead at the water’s edge brought them to an abrupt halt. With his heart hammering in his chest, Alasdair cupped his hand over his brow and narrowed his eyes, trying to get a better look. The image came into focus and he could make out the unmistakable outline of a person sprawled out on the shore.
“What is it, Odin? Or, should I say, who is it?”
While this could be someone in need, it might also be a trap, an enemy or bandit lying in wait. Without hesitation, Alasdair slid from the saddle, pulled a claymore from the baldric slung on his back, and raced down the beach on foot. Stopping a few feet away, he sucked in a sharp breath.
He sheathed his weapon and took a step closer. A young woman, wearing nothing more than a thin nightrail, lay motionless in the sand, the waves of the incoming tide lapping at her bare feet.
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