Guest: Alexa Bourne - Her Highland Champion & Book Giveaway

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Scotland with readers everywhere.
When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to hear from readers. To find her, visit or, or follow her on Twitter @AlexaBourne.

Alexa's new book is Her Highland Champion.

A Decadent Honor Guard story….
Heather Winchester leads a charming life. With good friends, a beautiful flat in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and a promising future once she finishes her Ph.D, she is finally pursuing her own dreams instead of catering to everyone else’s…except she doesn’t remember any of it.
Malcolm Fraser has returned to his Highland village to forget his failings as a professional bodyguard. Believing he could just lose himself in the mundane activities of running his bed & breakfast, he finds a woman’s lifeless body by the loch instead….
Captivated by Heather as she regains her memory, Malcolm is thrown into the line of duty. As danger comes knocking on their door, will he be strong enough to love her and keep her safe?

Q: Welcome, Alexa! What inspired Her Highland Champion?
A:  A visit to the village of Glenfinnan in the Highlands of Scotland inspired this story. I was on vacation in Scotland and wanted to go to Glenfinnan because it was the birthplace of the character Connor MacLeod of the Highlander movie. Once I got there, I was amazed by the beauty of the place.
Q: Scotland is very inspiring. What is the story behind the story?
A:  I wrote this story and started submitting it to agents and publishers in 1999, when I knew nothing about writing. I mean, I had 2 heroes, knew nothing about point of view, motivation and all those other terms. But I had so much fun writing it, I kept it and vowed to go back to it once I knew more. Fast forward 12 years. My friend Camryn Rhys suggested I submit to her publisher because they were starting a new line called the Honor Guard Series, which incorporated international settings, local flavor and alpha heroes. I pulled the story (and its 2 heroes!) out from under the bed, revised it (and chose 1 hero) and submitted it last November. Three weeks later, I got the contract.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing romantic suspense?
A:  I love seeing the good guys win, the bad guys get what’s coming to them and seeing my main characters rise to the challenges and grow.
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: LOL! I don’t believe I choose their names. I believe they let me know what works for them. A few times my characters have “suggested” names and I’ve tried to change them, but in the end, the characters ALWAYS win.
Q: LOL That's so cool! Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: Scotland is my absolute favorite place in the world. Whenever I’m there, I’m calm, relaxed and happy.
Q: I feel the same way! Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: My favorite character is actually a secondary character, Jamie MacDougall. He’s the pub manager in my fictional village of Glenhalish. He’s a giant of a man with a good heart! He doesn’t trust easily, but he’s fiercely loyal and will do whatever he can for those he cares about.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
A: I write a rough draft within 1-2 months (depending on the story). Then I plot. J Next comes revising, which entails choosing one major focus per draft (I do 4-6 drafts per book), such as figuring out the sequence of events, making sure the suspense unfolds correctly and realistically, adding more details. 
Q: Wow that's interesting. What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
A: I’m absolutely amazed with how much time promotion work takes. It’s interesting and fun, but so very time-consuming. Finding a balance with my “real world”, my writing and promoting I can tell will be a constant struggle for me.
Q: That's true. Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: If you want it badly enough, don’t give up. It took 12 years from submitting my very first (crappy) manuscript to receiving my very first contract.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m waiting to hear whether my publisher wants my second novella. The hero in that one is the 2nd hero from my very first suspense. (Fingers crossed!) I also have a full-length manuscript out on submission. While waiting to hear back on those, I’ll be revising another full-length story that got requested. 
Fantastic! Best of luck with all your projects! Thanks for being our guest today! Do you have a question for readers?

What country would you like to see used as a setting in a book? 
"Win it before you buy it!" Alexa and her publisher are giving away a copy of her new book to one lucky commenter. Please remember to leave your email in some form so we can contact the winner. Thanks!
Please visit Alexa online: 
Twitter: @AlexaBourne


mjmuse said...

Congratulations, Lexi! And what an inspiration. 12 years-and here you are. I'd love to win your story! It sounds fun!
Hug, rmjamuse at msn dot com

Clover Autrey said...

Plotting after the first draft? That's an interesting switch around, but might be just right for a great balance for a pantser/plotter writer. It's fun to see what works for different writers.

Alexa said...

Thanks, MJMuse! It was LOTS of fun to write!

Clover, isn't it fascinating to hear how different people write? It took a long time and I know my method is still time-consuming, but this is what has worked best for the most manuscripts so I'm sticking to it! LOL!

Linda Andrews said...

I'm glad your second hero is going to have his own book. Congratulations on getting it published. How many books do you want to write in the series?

Alexa said...

Thanks! Linda, the hero is happy too! Well, the Honor Guard Series is just starting and will have several different authors. I personally have a 2nd story with the publisher right now (Hope they want it!), I've got 2 more written (that need to be revised) and at least one more idea. I'll keep writing these as long as the publisher keeps taking them! LOL!

The Major said...

I like the fact that your second hero is getting a "spin-off". As for suggested sites for a Romance Novel, I used Prague, the Czech Republic (Paris of the East I think it has been called). I did so in "Immortal Relations" because it is where my father worked after WW-II and where he and the young lady had the trist, that generated the series I'm writing (so not all of my book is fiction).

Eli Yanti said...

Hi Alexa,

i think scotland is the best place to be setted in a book :)

Alexa said...

Major, I couldn't justify writing one hero's story and not the other hero's story. Ooooh, Prague sounds romantic! Good luck with your series.

Eli, Scotland does have A LOT to offer, that's for sure!

April Kihlstrom said...

Sounds like a great book, Alexa! Best of luck with it.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I suppose I don't have to tell you what country to visit and read about is Scotland. Is there any other kind of hero??? ;)

Always - good luck on lots of sales and your career.

Alexa said...

Thank you, April, Fierce and Paisley!

Jan Hudson said...

I love stories set in Scotland! Must be my McMurtry genes astiring.

Camryn Rhys said...

ALEXA!!!!! :) Congratulations!!!! :)

Pat McDermott said...

I totally understand about the characters insisting on their own names, Alexa. Best of luck with that second novella! As for which country, no surprise there. Ireland is my preference. All the best to you and your writing!

Alexa said...

Ah yes, Jan. Your McMurtry genes for sure!

Thanks, Camryn!

Pat, I do intend to write an Honor Guard story set in Ireland at some point too! Of course, I should go back to do some more...research. :)

Unknown said...

Congrats on sticking with your writing and earning a contract! Your story is such an inspiration. I love Scottish romances and look forward to reading your book. Thanks for the chance to win!


Alexa said...

Thanks, Jena!

Alexa said...

Using, the winner of the "win it before you can buy it" copy of my book is....

Pat McDermott!

Congratulations, Pat! I hope you like Malcolm and Heather's story!

Vonda Sinclair said...

Congratulations, Pat! And thanks again for visiting our blog, Alexa! I'm wishing you all the best with your new release!