Hello Everyone! Many thanks to WendyK and April for hosting me today. To Love A Highlander, Scandalous Scots #1, releases tomorrow, Apr. 29th, and I’m delighted to celebrate at My Book Addiction and More.
A TEMPTING PROPOSITION
As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer . . .
AN UNQUENCHABLE DESIRE
Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.
Mini-Excerpt from To Love A Highlander
Set-Up: Sorley and Mirabelle have met up in the castle chapel to discuss the finer points of the proposition she’s made him…
Mirabelle swallowed, unable to help herself. “You are a charmer.”
A slow smile curved Sorley’s lips. A darkly seductive smile, as unsettling as how he’d let his gaze slide oh-so-suggestively up and down her body. Yet his boldness made her pulse leap. It also warmed her in indecent places. She touched a hand to her breast, feeling both hot and dizzy despite the chill dampness of the chapel.
He stepped closer, giving her the distinct impression he’d pounce if she so much as blinked. “I am fond of women, aye.”
“So I have heard.” She kept her head raised, resisted the urge to wipe her palms against her cloak.
“Are you nervous?”
“I am relieved.” She spoke true, just not admitting she was indeed jittery. Her emotions were running higher than ever before.
She was also sharply aware of every ruggedly alluring inch of him. Including the oh-so-virile bulge she could see through the edges of his cloak. The glow of a wall sconce slanted right there, proving that he wasn’t just a tall, strapping man, powerfully-built and good-looking.
He was also just as well-lusted as the court ladies claimed.
Sorley the Hawk wanted her.
And he was already prepared to do exactly what she’d asked of him.
To Love A Highlander is more than just the first full-length book of my new Scandalous Scots series. (Scandalous Scots launched in Dec. 2013 with my holiday e-novella, Once Upon A Highland Christmas.) This story stands out as a book of firsts in my writing career, and that makes Sorley and Mirabelle’s tale extra-special for me.
I always visit My Book Addiction and More at release time, a tradition I love and enjoy so much. For that reason, I save really special tidbits to share here. Things not revealed anywhere else. Today is no exception as I haven’t yet mentioned the ‘firsts’ associated with To Love A Highlander and Scandalous Scots.
Are you curious?
I hope so! And I’ll not keep you waiting…
Scandalous Scots is my first series about heroes who are not chieftains. Some readers may point out that Sir M of Bride of the Beast was not a laird or chieftain, but if you read his book, you’ll know he soon became one, within a very few pages of his story. That isn’t so with Sorley the Hawk, hero of To Love A Highlander. And it isn’t so with the other three heroes of the 4.5 book series.
These heroes are bastards, quite literally. They’ve had a rough time of it, pasts that have been anything but privileged. And they emerged greater men for these early hardships. They’re the medieval equivalent of self-made men and they’re proud, bold, and roguish. Women adore them and with good reason: they are incredible lovers! But they aren’t lairds or chieftains. They were born at the royal court of Stirling Castle.
And that brings me to another first…
To Love A Highlander is set at a real castle, Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top historical landmarks. Again, many readers will know that my popular MacKenzie series uses Eilean Donan Castle as a setting. But I changed the name to Eilean Creag in the series. In every book until now, I’ve created my own fictional castle settings. Sure, I base these castles on real ones, or a combination of actual castles and strongholds that I know and love in Scotland. But I’ve never written an actual, existing castle as a setting. Until now. The story wouldn’t have worked otherwise. Readers can learn more about Stirling (and how I chose to write it) in my Author’s Note at the back of the book.
Another first is that a few of the characters are actual historical personages. Yes, I did this to a degree in my Highland Warriors trilogy. But not to the extent I’ve used actual historical people in To Love A Highlander. These characters (associated with the royal court) appear in subsequent Scandalous Scots books and have an integral role in the stories. I’ve never done that before. My reason for avoiding this has been because, loving Scottish medieval history as much as I do, I love these people. The real ones. The men and women who lived and breathed and were just as real as you and I today. I felt ‘unworthy’ to put words into their mouths, actions and physical movement to bodies long turned to dust.
I did not believe I could do them justice and had too much respect for them to risk portraying them poorly.
So I really had to wrestle with myself to put these people into the pages of To Love A Highlander. When you meet them, I hope you’ll agree that I treated them well and with the honor and respect they deserve.
There are several other firsts, but I will only share one more.
A very special first: Little Heart, the stray kitten in To Love A Highlander.
All my books have animal characters, but the main ones are usually dogs. I chose a feral kitten for this book because I learned of a wee feral kitten who was brutalized by playground bullies. One boy was a hero, seizing the kitten so he could be rushed to a vet clinic. The good souls there tried valiantly to save the kitten, but he died of his injuries several days later.
This kitten was called Little Heart, after the heart stitched onto his body bandaging.
Little Heart’s tragedy upset me so much that I decided to put him into this story, giving him to the heroine, Mirabelle, and letting him enjoy the happy ending I so wish he’d found in real life. To Love A Highlander is dedicated to the real Little Heart so that he is remembered always. And I will be donating a portion of this book’s royalties to my favorite cat rescue organization, Alley Cat Allies.
Whether you are a long-time reader of my books, or a first-time reader, I hope you will enjoy To Love A Highlander!
WendyK and April, thank you so much for letting me celebrate this new release with you. It’s always such a pleasure to be here.
*Here,I, WendyK want to put in that it’s always an honor and pleasure to have Sue-Ellen with us!*
Everyone else, thank you for stopping by! One reader will win a copy of To Love A Highlander, ebook or paper, your choice. If you read and enjoy the story, please tell your friends and help me spread word about Scandalous Scots. I’d really appreciate it.
*Giveaway above is from Sue-Ellen Welfonder*
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Sue-Ellen Welfonder’s bio (unofficial):
I’m proudly old-fashioned, listen to classical and New Age music as I write, I live, breath, and dream medieval Scotland, and enjoy living quietly. Shabby chic suits me better than glitz and glam. Hate shopping except bookstores and thrift shops. I believe in Highland magic and love whimsy. I’m also convinced some people are born out of time and place, and am sure I’m one of them.
If I wasn’t writing, I’d be out in the field fighting for animal rights, rescuing stray cats and dogs, saving whales and seals, hugging trees, and going ghost-hunting, always searching for a time portal to sweep me out of this world and back to medieval Scotland.
*Now for our, MBA’s, giveaway*
We are giving away ONE EBOOK only copy of ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by Sue-Ellen Welfonder to one lucky reader. In order to win just tell us, do you have a favorite pet charity? How do you support it?
And we’re going to give away one $10 gift card to Amazon, so you can purchase your own copy of TO LOVE A HIGHLANDER by Sue-Ellen Welfonder and help support Alley Cat Allies! To enter this giveaway just ask Sue-Ellen ANYTHING. It’s up to you to ask the question just comment below with your question and you’ll be entered to win.
*All Giveaways on this post end May 2nd, 2014. MBA is NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST, STOLEN, MISDIRECTED, OR OTHERWISE NOT RECEIVED PRIZE WINS.*