Joanne: I’m a Kiwi, and I’m also proud to say I’m one of the few people actually born in Hobbiton. Yes, I’m talking about Middle Earth’s Hobbiton. In New Zealand, the Hobbiton village is located in the tiny rural town of Matamata, and I was seriously born there. Although, I’d like to add a disclaimer. I was not born in a hole in the ground. No, it was the maternity ward for me.
Me: Tell us about your new book.
Joanne: Highlander’s Guardian is book three in my Highlander Heat series. It’s set in Scotland 1590 and involves a twenty-first century heroine traveling through time into the past. Each book in the series is stand-alone. Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite.
Traveling through time…for a Highlander.
Lila MacIan makes a wish upon a sixteenth century charm gifted to her by her missing grandmother, a wish that sends her traveling back into the past and to a warrior her charm has bound her to. With a vicious feud raging between the clans, she withholds her true identity from him, except he’s seen her grandmother and now she must do whatever it takes to find her.
Highland warrior Calum MacLean is bound to a woman who holds an identical charm to his. Visions assail him, of the two of them intimately together, and as Lila escapes him for the enemy’s land, his soul demands he protect and aid her.
Once Lila is reunited with her grandmother, she discovers she was born in the past to the MacIan laird, Calum’s arch enemy. Can she find a way to save the man her soul cries out for…set her past to rights and remain in her true time?
Me: When you write, does your real life spill over into your book at any time?
Joanne: Oh, I wish it did. I dream of traveling to Scotland which is why I adore the Scottish romance genre so much. There are in fact some areas in the South Island of New Zealand which have a real Scottish landscape feel to them, so it’s easy enough for me to visualize the locations. And when it comes to the characters, they come to glorious life, living and breathing within my mind as themselves. There’s no real life spillage so far.
Me: Do you think about a book of yours, being made into a movie, or not when writing?
Joanne: Never in my wildest dreams have I considered a book of mine being made into a movie, but now you’ve put that thought in my head, it’s now bumping around in there. That would be amazing if something like that happened. I’d be thrilled.
Me: When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
Joanne: Absolutely. Using correct character names is vital. My Highlander Heat series revolves around an actual blood feud which raged through the Western Isles in the late 1500s. Each book in the series focuses on a different clan in the feud, and many of the secondary characters truly lived. In order to use their actual names, I’ve researched heavily to get my facts straight. It’s very important to me to be able to bring as much authenticity to those characters’ personalities as I possibly can.
Me: What made you want to write and also what made you want to write the genre you are writing?
Joanne: I write within three genres, including: historical Highlander, contemporary, and young adult/new adult. I adore all of them, particularly when I’m able to add elements of fantasy into the storylines. That’s why even my historical line introduces time traveling heroines. For me, as I write, it’s all about allowing my imagination to soar and bringing the reader along for a magical ride. Anything is possible. We just have to believe.
Why did I want to write? Because I love to read, and writing is a wonderful extension of that.
Me: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Joanne: I was very fortunate to grow up within a family who adore books and reading, which means I have so many favorite authors that I couldn’t possibly pick just one. My greatest mentor these days though, would be my fabulous editor, Penny Barber. Editors are like gold at mentoring, guiding and teaching. No writer can be without one.
Me: Do you have any tips for our readers who might dream of writing?
Joanne: My greatest tip would be to learn the craft of writing. There’s so much intricate detail involved in writing a book and it’s so important to take classes and learn from those who know what they’re talking about. My second tip would be to write, write, write. Building your writing muscles takes dedication, time and a lot of hard work. But it’s also the most rewarding job ever. Being a writer is so much fun.
Me: Tell us anything you want?
Joanne: I don’t like peas. I used to hide those suckers under the mashed potato when I was a kid, and when my mother caught on to that, I used to slip them to the dog under the table. I was a very inventive child.
Buy HIGHLANDER’S CHARM at:
Look for JOANNE WADSWORTH at:GOODREADS
Lila strode along the thinning, scrub-lined path. At the edge of the loch, a hundred shirtless warriors wielded swords in a battle of strength against one another. Another hundred swam toward a small island in the middle of the waterway.
Among the half-naked men, Calum swung his two-handed claymore down on his opponent’s. His shoulders and arms were thick, strong, and packed with muscle. A healthy sheen of sweat glistened across his glorious abs. He shoved forward and the force of his move sent the warrior he fought against stumbling backward. So impressive.
One quick goodbye with Calum, and then she’d be away.
She threaded through the battling men, all far too intent on killing each other, as if they were each other’s mortal enemy. If this was training, she shuddered to think what an actual battle would look like. She darted through then fell in behind the one she was after. “Calum, I—”
He jerked around. “Lila? What are you—”
“Behind you, Calum.”
The warrior he battled swung his sword.
Calum whirled, barely catching his opponent’s blow. “Get back, Lila.”
A blade whistled past her ear, and hot air pulsed all around. She was blocked on every side. “Get back to where?”
“Hold onto me.” Calum scooped her against him then dodged through his warring men until they reached the edge of the flat.
“I’m so sorry.” She plastered her face against his chest, her heart beating so loud it pounded in her ears. “I didn’t know that would happen.”
“They cannae see any but their opponent when their blood roars for the fight.” He gripped her hand and tugged her into the thick copse of surrounding pine trees. Nesting birds twittered within the highest branches. “How did you manage to slip past the tower guardsman?”
“I was with Margaret and we didn’t have an issue. I needed to come. I had to see you.”
“Then speak.” He slid his claymore into the sheath strapped to his bare back.
Oh, now she had to find a way to say goodbye without actually coming out and saying it. “You left so quickly this morning.” Okay, that was a good start.
“That is hardly an adequate reason for the risk you just took with your life.” He backed her against a wide trunk, his gaze dropping to her lips.
“I wanted to thank you for saving my life and pulling me from the loch.”
“You did that last eve.” He dipped his head, urged her lips apart and from one heart-stopping breath to the next, swarmed her senses with a ferocious kiss. Every inch of her sizzled, burned and throbbed.
“Once didn’t seem enough,” she said when he finally eased back.
“My apologies. I had to kiss you.” He caressed her sides, roamed down and scooped her bottom. He lifted her higher and pressed his hard length against her belly. “Do you feel our connection?”
“Yes.” She seized his powerful biceps and held on. “I’m not sure what we’re going to do about it though.”
“I do.” He kissed her again, so deeply their breath mingled as one, his hardness a hot brand that made her tingle all over. Then he cupped her breast and thumbed the peak through her gown. “In the cave, I saw your beautiful hair spread like black silk over my tartan. I’ve wished since for that vision to come true.”
“You have a wicked way with words.” She tangled her fingers in his hair and reclaimed his mouth.