Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Monday, April 27, 2015

Highlander Redeemed by Laurin Wittig





Author Interview With Laurin Wittig, I so love this Author

Me: Tell us about yourself


Laurin: I grew up in the deep, deep, South (Mississippi) but have spent most of my life in the mid-Atlantic, mostly in and around Washington, DC, and Virginia. I’ve lived in six states and DC, and have lived briefly in Paris, London, and Rabat, Morocco. Thanks to my mom, who ran a travel agency when I was a child, I’ve also traveled through most countries in central and southern Europe as well as taken an incredible trip to Israel when I was eleven. I’ve been to Scotland twice – not nearly enough, even though I spend five days a week there in my imagination. I used to be able to speak French pretty well, but it’s gotten very rusty. I love technology, history, walking in the woods, teaching, and of course I adore writing. I used to teach computer classes, and Jamestown history to school groups, but now, when I can find the time, I teach writing workshops. Traveling more internationally is at the top of my bucket list.


I’ve been married for thirty years to the love of my life, have two great children, and a small dog who runs the house. And I get to spend my days writing my stories for my fabulous readers. Ah, it’s a great life!


Me: Tell us about your new book?

Laurin: Highlander Redeemed is the third and final book in my Guardians of the Targe series. I had so much fun writing Scotia and Duncan’s story. There’s nothing quite like watching a difficult, self-absorbed girl turn into a strong, loving, warrior woman. Duncan, bless his heart, was the only one who had the patience and strength of will to help her make that transformation. On top of their story, the couples and many of the other characters from the previous books in the series, Highlander Betrayed and Highlander Avenged, are integral to bringing a conclusion to the series so readers get to see how Rowan and Nicholas, and Jeanette and Malcolm, are faring.

Here’s the backcover blurb for Highlander Redeemed: Scotia MacAlpin may be only eighteen years old, but she’s no stranger to trouble. Her latest incident—which resulted in a death and forced her clan into battle—has made her an outcast among her exiled people. Scotia is tired of being ignored and trapped in the shadow of her sister, a gifted Guardian of the Targe; and she’s become hell-bent on destroying the army out to capture the ancient Highland relic for their English king.
Duncan of Dunlairig has looked out for Scotia since she started to walk. She was as restless and reckless then as she is now—only the stakes have become higher and more perilous. While the rest of Clan MacAlpin ostracizes her, he secretly helps Scotia become the warrior she yearns to be. But the real test of her skills may come when Duncan needs her help—and her long-forgotten heart—in this thrilling and romantic Guardians of the Targe tale.

Me: When you write, does your real life spill over into your book at any time?


Laurin: I think in subtle ways it does. I have to draw on my own emotional reactions, or those of my family and friends, in order to find a way to express that authentically for my characters. I spend time every summer in northern Maine, which is very, very similar to the Scottish Highlands in climate, geology, animals, and even in some ways, culture. I use my experience up there to help me create the settings in my stories, especially calling on sense memories – smells, the feel of the air, the sounds in the forest, etc.—and the way people help each other out, entertain themselves, and utilize the outdoors.


Me: Do you think about a book of yours, being made into a movie, or not when writing?


Laurin: I don’t think about this when I’m actually writing the book, but I sure do afterwards! I’d love to see one of my books made into a movie, or even better, one of my series (like Guardians of the Targe!) be made into an HBO TV series. How cool would that be?!


Me: When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?


Laurin: I do! I have several things I look for when naming a character. I always start with the clan name first, choosing one that actually lived, as best I can determine, in the area where the story takes place during the story time period. Then I start looking for period names, but unfortunately it’s hard to find medieval Highlander women’s names, and many that can be found don’t work as a heroine’s name for a 21st century reader (or me!). Gormlaith anyone? When I do find an interesting name I’ll often go with an English variation of the Gaelic name or I’ll spell it in a more phonetic way to make it easier for the reader to “hear.” And as I’m trying on names, I do look at the meaning, and sometimes I’ll choose a name, when it meets my other criteria, on the meaning. In Charming the Shrew, Catriona’s eldest brother and the bane of her existence, is named Broc…badger. It seemed fitting. In Highlander Redeemed, Scotia’s name comes from the name the Roman’s called Ireland, which in the middle ages came to mean Scotland. But, I also discovered that Scotia is a Celtic name of a warrior goddess and that seemed to fit Scotia MacAlpin perfectly.


Me: What made you want to write and also what made you want to write the genre you are writing?


Laurin: I journaled all through high school and college and took as many literature courses as I could in school because getting to read novels for credit was a gift I couldn’t resist. It never occurred to me that I could write books myself until later, after I’d been married a couple of years. I was reading a book and must have been grumbling about how bad it was because my husband asked me why I didn’t just write one of my own? It was one of those off-hand questions that changed my life in a moment.


It took me awhile…years…to figure out what I wanted to write and then how to accomplish that. I figured out what to write when I started reading romances and, like so many, fell in love with the genre. I started by writing a short contemporary romance because the research of an historical was too much to deal with when I was still trying to figure out how to write an entire book. My second book was The Devil of Kilmartin, my first Scottish historical – the subgenre of romance I absolutely devoured as a reader -- and my first published book. It won two contests for unpublished writers then went on to win the National Readers’ Choice Award once it was published.


Me: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?


Laurin: There have been an awful lot of writers who have mentored me at one time or another, often via a workshop, or a quiet conversation after an event. Mary Jo Putney has had a hand in my career a couple of times though I doubt she realizes that. Suzanne Brockman showed me how to be more disciplined with my work habits when I was struggling with getting my butt in the chair to write everyday. However, my best friend, author Pamela Palmer, has been my long time mentor. She has a way of sending me just the right book at the right time, or finding a great workshop or conference we should go to. Her critiques have guided my education in plotting, and her advice and ready ear have helped me shape my career. I hope I’ve been as much a mentor to her over the years.


Me: Do you have any tips for our readers that might dream of writing?


Laurin: The most important tip is to just sit down and write. It doesn’t even matter if what you write is any good—that’s what revision is for! A good critique group can help you with that stage, but only if you have something for them to critique. I would also suggest you gather other writers around you, but be choosy. This is a hard business to be in with lots of rejection (even indie authors get rejected via bad reviews or low sales!) so you want positive writers around you, people who are driven by the same dream you have and who work to attain it. And lastly, if your dream includes publishing your work, educate yourself in the business of writing. The business side is changing rapidly and constantly these days so you need to keep up to date. Joining Romance Writers of America is a great place to start your education, especially if there is a local chapter near you.


Me: Tell us anything you want?


Laurin: I love to interact with readers! You can find me in lots of places on-line – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and my website. I send out a newsletter about once a month and my subscribers get the first peek at new book covers, pre-release excerpts, and have a monthly subscriber only giveaway. I have all my social networks linked from my website: http://laurinwittig.com and you can subscribe to my newsletter there, too.


And, if you ever want to do something nice for your favorite author, leave a review wherever you bought or borrowed a book, and/or on Goodreads. A review is the best gift you can give us. Reviews don’t have to be long – a sentence is sufficient – and they help other readers find our books and decide if they want to read them.


Last, and most important, thanks to all of you for being readers! Readers rock! Thanks, too, to Kimi for hosting me here today!





higlanderredeemed

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Highlander Redeemed SERIES – Guardians of the Targe AUTHOR – Laurin Wittig GENRE – Historical Romance (medieval) PUBLICATION DATE – May 12, 2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 272/86,500 PUBLISHER – Montlake Romance COVER ARTIST – Regina Wamba

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Scotia MacAlpin may be only eighteen years old, but she’s no stranger to trouble. Her latest incident—which resulted in a death and forced her clan into battle—has made her an outcast among her exiled people. Scotia is tired of being ignored and trapped in the shadow of her sister, a gifted Guardian of the Targe; and she’s become hell-bent on destroying the army out to capture the ancient Highland relic for their English king.
Duncan of Dunlairig has looked out for Scotia since she started to walk. She was as restless and reckless then as she is now—only the stakes have become higher and more perilous. While the rest of Clan MacAlpin ostracizes her, he secretly helps Scotia become the warrior she yearns to be. But the real test of her skills may come when Duncan needs her help—and her long-forgotten heart—in this thrilling and romantic Guardians of the Targe tale.
Highlander Redeemed - Cover

   

Book Review

Scotia, Recovering from humiliation, and blame for a clansman death.

Duncan, required to follow her and keep her from getting the clan in more trouble.

I am a huge fan of Laurin Wittig’s so this was a treat for me to read.

There is action, mystery, love, stubbornness. It is a ride of thrills, and you only are able to hold on for dear life as she takes you through the ride. It is an awesome book and really draws you in. keeps you up at night wanting to read more. You love how Scotia grows over time and how she has to learn humility to get there. Duncan could not be a better person for her. Love understanding and in need of her. 

This book was well written, great plot, and in my opinion a fun bit of banter. A must read.

 

BUY & TBR LINKS

EXCERPT

Duncan braced himself for the verbal battle to come, but before he could make himself known, Scotia began to move, hesitantly and without her usual grace, but so focused on her task he could almost taste her determination. She watched her feet, letting her weapons go slack in her hands. Even so, he quickly recognized the exercise Malcolm had been teaching the lads a few days ago. She shook her head, then started the series of moves again, talking to herself just under her breath. She repeated the process over and over until, all of a sudden, she flew through the short exercise as if it were a dance she had known her entire life, thrusting, parrying, spinning, attacking the dirt clad roots of a toppled tree. The sharp sound of wood on wood reverberated through the forest like a woodpecker hammering on a hollow log.
His breath caught in his chest. She was magnificent. Beautiful. Strong.
She fought as if demons threatened her life.
And Duncan could not take his eyes off her. She was everything he would expect her to be if he did not know her so well.

AUTHOR BIO

Laurin Wittig was indoctrinated into her Scottish heritage at birth when her parents chose her oddly spelled name from a plethora of Scottish family names. At ten, Laurin attended her first MacGregor clan gathering with her grandparents, and her first ceilidh (kay-lee), a Scottish party, where she danced to the bagpipes with the hereditary chieftain of the clan. At eleven, she visited Scotland for the first time and it has inhabited her imagination ever since. She writes bestselling and award-winning Scottish medieval romances and lives in southeastern Virginia. For more information about all of Laurin’s books, visit LaurinWittig.com

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

2 Copies of Highlander Betrayed
3 Guardians of the Targe tote bag at each blog
Tour has been Organized and Hosted by 33c16-mini2bbutton

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me and my book on your blog today! I had fun answering your interview questions!

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  2. Thank you for the wonderful interview and the wonderful review. Victoria at My Family's Heart

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Wonderful interview Kimi and Laurin!

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  5. Thank You guys, I love Laurin, so this was a treat

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