We have B.J. Scott here for a SPECIAL Interview. YAY and Giveaway. She is also going to be on BOOK ADDICTS PARTY TIME!! Stop by and check it out.
Me: Tell us about yourself:
B.J. With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, I always have what I hope will be 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, and Savvy Authors. While I have only written and had Historical Romances published so far, I also have some contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense planned for the future.
C.S. Lewis first captivated my imagination in the fourth grade, and my desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, I married my knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked me away to his castle by the sea. In reality, we share a century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When I am not working at my childcare job, on my small business, or writing, you will find me reading, camping, or antique hunting.
Me: Tell us about your new book?
B.J. Her Highlander’s Promise is the first book in my new historical romance series about feisty Scottish women and the men who capture their hearts. A Cinderella-like story about a young woman torn between a death-bed promise made to her father and the man she loves--a vow that could result in her demise. Laurel MacClay is about to take her place as lairdess of her beloved clan, but first, she must find a way to unravel a mystery from the past, secrets that could stop an abhorrent betrothal to her arrogant cousin and may even save her life.
Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Can that love stand the test of time and hurtle unsurmountable odds? Will love triumph over evil? Find out in Her Highlander’s Promise.
Me: When you write, does your real life spill over into your book at any time?
B.J. I have always believed if an author writes about what they know and love, it will show in their work. It would be impossible for me to totally separate myself and my take on life from my books. Since they are historical romances, the time period dictates much of the content and how things evolve between the characters, but hope my love for Scotland and my person beliefs shine through in my books.
Me: Do you think about a book of yours, being made into a movie, or not when writing?
B.J. I can’t honestly say I have ever dared to dream that could happen. My ultimate goal when I write has always been to bring my readers a release from the tension of the day, and a place to escape the stressors in their lives. If my books can touch one reader and give them even a few hours of pleasure and in some cases a means of escape, then I have done my job.
Me: When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
B.J. I try to keep my character names as authentic to the time period and location in which the book takes place as possible. I usually select several names for each character and I do look at the meaning of the names. Then I more or less let the character chose their own name. Funny how as the book progresses one name seems to suit better than the others. In my first book, Highland Legacy, the name of the heroine, Cailin, was very specific to the plot. The Gaelic translation simply means child or can even mean lad. Her father wanted a son and when her mother died giving birth to her twin brother really showed no affection for her and chose a name that suited the way he felt about her. I have been known to change a character’s name half way through the book if it doesn’t feel right.
Me: What made you want to write and also what made you want to write the genre you are writing? What is the most difficult thing about writing you genre? What is the best part?
B.J. A true Gemini, I was born with the gift of gab and need to tell a story. Writing stories and keeping a journal was something I started at a young age, but did not contemplate writing in earnest until much later in life. I joined an online writing group in 2001 and enjoyed sharing short stories with the members of the group. I met my husband in 2003, I put the writing on the back burner for several years, but the need to write could not be held at bay. In 2010, I wrote my first historical romance. A suitable fit for me because I have been a history nut and in love with anything Celtic or Scottish for as long as I can remember. They sat write what you know and love so writing Scottish Historical Romance was a perfect fit. The hardest part about writing historical romance is finding the right blend of historical facts and not losing the romance. In a historical romance, the romance must drive the story to a HEA ending. In a historical fiction, the history drives the book and romance, if any, is secondary. Another part about writing historical romance is the fact that many readers, those used to reading contemporary and other genres often find it hard to accept the way men and women interacted in the past and while they want a historical story, they want the heroine to behave in a way she might today. The best part about writing historical romance is the ability to transport the reader back in time, to provide and escape from modern life and stress. To share my love of history with the readers.
Me: When you write a book, what determines the heat level of the book?
B.J. Intimacy, undeniable attraction, passion, and love are all intricate parts of a romance novel, but I believe the story should dictate the heat level and the way the plot unfolds. Some stories call for hot sensual encounters between the hero and heroine early in the book, while other storylines call for a much lighter touch. When and if intimate scenes are included depend on many factors, including the age and maturity of the main characters and the individual personality and beliefs of the hero and heroine. In my first two books, the story called for early intimate encounters and a higher level of intensity than my last two books. In the third book of my Fraser Brother Trilogy, the strong beliefs of the hero that a man and women should be totally committed before sex and his respect for the heroine, dictated they wait until marriage. But that does not limit the romance, sexual tension between the characters and stolen moments of passion.
The same went for Her Highlander’s Promise. While the romance is a strong element in the story, the timing for this couple’s joining needed to come at the right time. The audience you are targeting also plays a major role. Whether a book is steamy or not, if the storyline is strong, the characters engaging, the heat level should not matter to the reader.
Me: Do you have any tips for our readers that might dream of writing?
B.J. Follow your dreams and write, write, write. The only way to hone your craft is to write as much as you can. Listen to critiques both good and bad and use the comments to improve your writing. Not everyone is a born author. While they can spin a yarn, they might not have the ability to put the ideas into words. BUT anyone can learn to write if they are willing to put in the work and do what they can to become the best writer possible. We owe that to our readers and to ourselves.
Swag Page, blog and she makes her own stuff.
Facebook author page I have a contest and giveaway for an emerald pendant going on til Sunday Oct 19th at midnight EST.
Buy link to Her Highlanders Promise: http://www.amazon.com/Her-Highlanders-Promise-B-J-Scott-ebook/dp/B00O2IROIC
Links to other books:
Highland Legacy Highland Legacy (The Fraser Brothers Trilogy Book 1) - Kindle edition by B. J. Scott. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Highland Quest: Highland Quest (The Fraser Brothers Trilogy Book 2) - Kindle edition by B. J. Scott. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Scottish Highlands 1320
Laurel MacClay wrapped a plaid arisaidh around her shoulders, but the thin woolen shawl proved ineffective against the biting wind. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she watched the shroud-covered body being lowered into a freshly dug grave.
“Nay, dinna put him in the cold ground,” she sobbed and lunged forward, but a hand planted firmly on her shoulder halted her attempt to intervene.
“Stand fast, lass. You are the MacClay’s daughter and will conduct yourself as such. Chiefs from the most powerful clans in the Scottish Highlands have come to pay homage to your da, and I willna have you disgrace the clan or his memory,” Murray, her father’s cousin, growled in her ear.
A man of his word, Brandon MacClay never broke his promises. Until now. When her mother died, her father vowed he’d always be there to protect her. She refused to believe he was dead. It had to be a cruel jest.
A fearless patriot, he and his three older brothers fought beside William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in Scotland’s bid for independence. Only her father had survived. No matter how bleak the odds, he remained a man of conviction and would never surrender without a fight. Not yet two score, and still a virile man, succumbing to the mysterious ailment that ravaged his body did not seem a fitting end for such a noble warrior.
Her father’s cousin stood at her side, a scowl on his face, his nails digging into her flesh. He and his family had fallen on hard times, and Da had taken them in until they could make other arrangements. They never left. When struck by the unexplained illness, his death eminent, her father named Murray, his closest living relative, her guardian. She’d barely seen ten summers and was not yet old enough to reside alone, or to assume her place as his heir and lairdess of Thistledown Castle.
Neither a tall or robust man, her father’s fur-trimmed wool cloak hung on Murray like a grain sack. But he insisted on wearing the garment. A jewel-encrusted sword—a symbol of power carried for more than three centuries by the MacClay lairds—hung at his hip.
Laurel swallowed against the growing lump in her throat. Fighting back another torrent of tears and the swell of emotion squeezing her chest, she stared at the sea of sympathetic faces. So many had come to pay their respects.
The internment concluded, and as the priest recited his final prayer over the grave, the mourners filed by, offering their condolences. Laurel glanced from one person to the next, but none was familiar.
A brawny warrior stalked toward her with four lads in tow. “I’m John Cameron, laird of Clan Cameron, and these are my sons. Your father and I fought in many battles together. He was a brave man, and I considered him my friend. I’m verra sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you for coming,” Laurel said as she bobbed a curtsy. “My father would be honored.”
“My name is Blair. If you need anything, I am forever at your service, m’lady.” The youngest, a lad of about thirteen summers, stepped forward.
Tall and extremely well-muscled for his age, with sky-blue eyes and finely chiseled features, she found him quite handsome. His silky hair, the color of a raven’s wing, hung loosely about his shoulders, an errant lock falling across his brow when he bowed before her. He winked as he straightened, and a mischievous grin tugged at the corner of his lips.
What felt like a bevy of butterflies bombarded her stomach, and her heart fluttered wildly against her ribs. Until now, she considered lads a nuisance, but there was something different about Blair Cameron and the way he looked at her. Heat rose in cheeks, her chest tightened, and catching a breath became increasingly more difficult.
“Laurel, come anon!” When the screeching voice of Deirdre MacClay, her cousin’s wife, echoed across the kirkyard, all heads turned in her direction. “You’re a selfish, willful lass, not to mention ungrateful. You’ve kept us waiting long enough, and your cousin Murray grows impatient,” she grumbled.
Deidre forcefully grabbed Laurel by the upper arm as she continued her tirade in a voice that was not meant to be overheard. “I dinna know how your parents ever put up with you. However, your obstinacy is something a few good lashings will tame. Come now, or you can walk back to the castle alone.”
Laurel winced as Deirdre tightened her grasp. “Please, I need but a minute.”
“You’ll come now.” Her cousin-by-marriage’s face reddened and contorted with anger.
“Remove your hand, Madame.” John clasped Deirdre’s fist, then pried her bony fingers from Laurel’s arm. “You’re hurting the lass. Can’t you see that she is having a difficult time saying goodbye? Mayhap you could find it in your frosty heart to grant her a little more time.”
Deirdre’s back stiffened as she glared at him. “How dare you touch and speak to me in such a manner! The lass is none of your concern, and I dinna need your counsel. We’ve given her more than enough time. My son, Allan, doesna handle the cold weather well, and I want to get him home before the snow flies and he catches a cold. Not that I must answer to you or anyone else,” she hissed. “Brandon MacClay is dead and buried. Like it or not, Laurel is now our responsibility, and I refuse to caudle her the way her parents did. She will learn her place, to do as told, and be prompt about it.” She reached for Laurel again, only to have John step between them.
Aside from her father, few people had the nerve to stand up to Deirdre. Not a woman one would call yielding or compassionate, she did not like to be given orders by anyone. Even her husband cowered before her. While she dressed like royalty and had married well, putting on heirs obviously did not impress or fool Laird Cameron.
The daughter of a merchant, she was a lanky woman with squinty gray eyes, muddy brown hair, sunken cheeks, a large, aquiline nose, and harsh, angular features. It was no secret that she once had designs on Brandon MacClay. Rumor was, she’d always resented the fact that he paid her no mind and married Laurel’s mother instead.
Behind her back, most likened Deidre to a cross between a spitting cat and a pit viper. However, Murray adored the woman and would do anything to please her, ignoring the fact that she married him in order to get back at Brandon. Given Highlanders’ strong beliefs in superstition, magic, and mythical creatures from the netherworld, the rumors she was a witch, and that those who crossed her disappeared or died, deterred most from confronting her.
“The lass just lost her father and needs time to grieve. If you are in such an unholy hurry to go home, I will personally escort her to the castle when she is ready to leave.” John’s dark eyes narrowed and his brows furrowed.
“She’ll do no such thing,” Deidre snapped. “Traveling unescorted with men she doesna know is indecent and willna be permitted.”
“I appreciate your kind offer, Laird Cameron, but dinna wish to cause a problem.” Laurel peered up at Deirdre’s sour face and curtsied. “I will do as you wish and accompany you.”
“About time you came to your senses and realized where your next meal is coming from.” Deirdre clasped Laurel’s wrist and dragged her across the yard.
This time John didn’t interfere.
As they reached the gate, Laurel yanked free of Deirdre’s grasp, turned to face Blair, and waved.
Deidre quickly recaptured Laurel’s hand and hauled her toward the horses. “I’ll not have you associating with lads as ill-bred and ill-mannered as that. From this day on, you will speak to no one unless I grant my permission. Is that understood?”
“He seemed verra nice. Not at all like any of the lads from the village. His da is a respected laird and a friend of my father.” Laurel sighed and glanced over her shoulder at the grave. There was no reasoning with Deirdre.
“I’ll take none of your backtalk. And be forewarned, if you defy me again, I vow you’ll regret it.”
When Deirdre raised her hand in the air, Laurel squeezed her eyes shut. Her pulse pounded in her ears and her breath caught.
When her parents were alive, they never believed in striking a bairn, and Laurel didn’t give them cause to question their decision. However, over the last two days, Deirdre had threatened, more than once, to beat her into submission if she did not learn to mind.
Something told her that if she gave her cousin any grief, she’d follow through on those threats. Her life was about to change in many ways. Since she was still a bairn, and had no one to intervene on her behalf, she saw no option but to comply, to bide her time until she turned eighteen and assumed her position as lairdess of Clan MacClay. A spirited lass, remaining complacent was not going to be an easy task, but necessary if she wished to honor a promise made to her father on his deathbed. His one final request was that she honor Murray and do him proud.
Laurel stiffened and braced for the blow, but the backhanded slap never came. She raised her lashes, shocked to see Murray holding his wife’s wrist and whispering in her ear. While Laurel would like to think her cousin was defending her, that wasn’t the case. If anything, she’d wager he was concerned about the mourners’ reaction to the act of cruelty on such a solemn occasion. She had no doubt that he’d allow Deirdre to carry out any punishment she saw fit in the privacy of the keep.
Murray glared at Laurel. “Best you mind your manners and mount your palfrey. You’ve dallied long enough.”
“She’ll never learn to obey, so you’re wasting your breath. When we get back to the castle, I will give her a much-deserved lesson in humility,” Deirdre said, then redirected her attention to Laurel. “Do as Murray says and get on your horse. I want to see Allan home before he catches a chill. He has a delicate constitution, and if he gets ill, you’ll be to blame.” Deirdre stomped toward the cart where her son waited, a heavy fur swaddled around his slender body.
A gust of frigid north wind blew across the kirkyard and snow started to fall. Laurel shivered, her teeth chattering. She watched as Murray helped Deirdre into the cart, wrapped a length of woolen fabric around her shoulders, then placed a pelt over her lap. Her heart sank and she choked back a sob of despair. Never in her life had she felt so alone.
“Wait,” Blair shouted as he dashed across the yard, reaching Laurel before she mounted her palfrey. Bending at the waist, he sucked in a deep breath, and before she could react, he clasped her hand.
Certain that her mount blocked most of Deirdre’s and Murray’s views, Laurel did not withdraw her hand. However, her surprise was difficult to mask when he placed a silver ring on her palm, then quickly closed her fist around it.
“This may seem sudden, but I would like you to accept this ring of intent. It belonged to my mam. We will meet again, Laurel MacClay. I promise. When I am old enough, I wish to court you proper. Say that you’ll wait for me and marry no other,” he whispered in her ear.
“I’m touched and honored, but I canna accept this. We’ve only just met, and I am sure you will forget all about me once you leave for home,” she said, then tried to give him back the ring, but he refused to accept.
“Keep it. Please. I willna forget you, Laurel, and swear I will honor my pledge.” He thumped his fist over his heart.
“Scat! Go back to your father.” Deidre waved her hand in Blair’s direction. “Laurel, mount up. Now.”
“Aye, I come anon,” Laurel answered. “I will hold you to your promise, Blair Cameron.” She kissed his cheek before climbing on her horse.
OK so here is the Giveaway. B.J. Scott is giving away this Necklace and Earrings and I think we should see who all knows what books BJ writes. There has been some confusion of late as to what books are hers and what is not. So for this contest lets post your Favorite Book of her's, if you have not read her books then tell us which one sounds the best.
One winner will be picked, Just leave a response, along with your email addy. so we can get a hold of you.
|The Fraser Trilogy|