Please help me welcome debut, Regency author, the lovely Collette Cameron. Collette is here today promoting her novel Highlander’s Hope. If you haven’t read it, I highly encourage to do so. Collette will also be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter. To be eligible, you must leave your email address in with your comment.
Collette: Thank you so much for having me here today, Ella.
Ella: You’ve been hither and yon promoting your book. What does it feel like to finally have it released?
Collette: It’s surreal; a wonderful kind of terrifying. It’s one thing to write a book and have it accepted to be published; it’s another to have it ‘out there’.
Ella: What do you like best and least about being a debut author?
Collette: Everything is so new. Learning about the publishing industry, author platforms and branding, marketing and promotion. That’s my least favorite part; the marketing and promoting. On the other hand, I’ve met (in the realm of social media and otherwise) many incredibly generous and supportive people.
Ella: Tell us what the inspiration was to write Highlander’s Hope?
Collette: I had toyed with the idea of writing a book for years, but never seriously considered writing a romance novel. I didn’t think I could. All that dialogue, conflict, and point of view stuff.
A single scene, the Banbury Inn scene where Ewan finds Yvette asleep in his chamber, was the impetuous for Highlander’s Hope. The idea just came to me one day, and I played around with it in mind to see if I could develop a story line around it. I did, but boy was there a lot of back story I had to eventually cut.
Ella: What drew you to Regencies and the Highlands in particular?
Collette: A girlfriend handed me a Barbara Cartland novel when I was thirteen years-old. I read it and fell in love with Regency. Back then, that was quite daring. I love all historicals but Georgian, Regency, and Victorian are my favorites. The Regency era was a time of such transition; clothing, culture, politics . . . even morals were in flux.
When I didn’t have my nose buried in a Regency, a good Scot’s Highlander was usually in my hand. I decided to take two of my favorite genres and combine them into something a bit out of the ordinary.
Ella: What comes next or have you decided once was enough?
Collette: Oh, Ella, you know how it is when the writing bug bites you. Once is never enough!
Ella: How very true!
Collette: Highlander’s Hope is the first book in my Blue Rose Trilogy. The second book, The Viscount’s Vow is due to release from Soul Mate Publishing next fall. It features Vangie and Ian from Highlander’s Hope. I’m hard at work on the third book, The Earl’s Enticement. That’s Adaira and Roark’s story.
Then I have a stand alone that insists on getting written. After that, I’ve a six-book sage based on Ewan’s other siblings and cousins. Then of course I have to tell Isaiah and Josiah’s stories. Oh, and Harcourt’s and Yancy’s too.
That’s why I love a large cast of characters; so many stories to write about secondary characters.
Ella: Is there any advice you’d give someone starting their path to publication?
Collette: Get involved in writing groups. I belong to several. Also, attend workshops and conferences on the craft of writing. Join social media groups which offer mentoring and classes.
Critique partners are a must, as are beta readers. Oh, and make sure you read, read, read . . . not only about writing but books in the genre you write.
Finally, find some small thing that makes your books just the tiniest bit unique; something that readers will be able to identify as your trademark.
Ella: Without further to do, here is the blurb and an excerpt from Highlander’s Hope. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
She was the heiress determined to never marry.
Shipping heiress Yvette Stapleton is wary of fortune hunting men and their false declarations of love. She’d rather become a spinster than imprisoned in the bonds of marriage. At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but her reaction to Lord Sethwick’s passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony.
He was the nobleman who vowed to make her his own.
Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, Lord Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky, hasn’t dreamed of the sensual beauty he danced with two years ago; he’s determined to win her heart. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, he unwittingly draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish Canon law to declare her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.”
Amidst murder and betrayal, Ewan attempts to win Yvette’s forgiveness. But is it too late? Has his manipulation cost him her love?
Perversely, Yvette argued, “Oh, my lord? How else will I travel to Craiglocky?” Blast it, she swore inwardly when her hoarse voice cracked.
Ewan sat beside her. “Evvy, stop calling me my lord.”
“Your lordship, unless I sprout wings and fly, my only recourse is horseback.” Feeling truly rebellious, she stretched and peeked over her shoulders. Pointing to one she said, “No wings, milord. ‘Tis plain I shall have to mount a horse.”
Clearly annoyed, Ewan raked a hand through his hair. “Those below believe us wed. A Scot’s wife doesn’t call her husband ‘my lord’.”
Arching her brow, Yvette dared, “Who gave them reason to believe we were wed, my lord?”
Ewan looked at her hard. “These people must believe us wed, else you’re in grave danger.”
Yvette reached for the cup, then took a grateful swallow of the sweet water. The icy coolness soothed her irritated throat and emboldened her. “So you say, Lord Sethwick. Perhaps it was only a ploy to publicly ruin me, so I’d have to marry you. I overheard Lord Ramsbury at the inn.”
She lowered her voice in imitation of the earl. “‘A wealthy wife is always an asset. I’d say, you’ve done quite well for yourself, old chap.’”
Ewan stiffened. The line of his mouth flattened and his eyes darkened.
Merciful God, did she truly say that? It must be her illness speaking.
He removed the cup from her shaking hand and set it on the bedside table. She could not tear her gaze off his eyes. They were bottomless pools reflecting to the depths of his soul. And he was angry, in fact livid with her. His moon-shaped scar ticked rhythmically.
She’d gone too far. “Ewan—”
“Yvette, remember what happened the last time you didn’t use my given name? I’ve counted no less than five,” he held up as many fingers, “times you’ve intentionally defied me.”
She couldn’t swallow past the constriction in her throat. She’d done it up brown now. Holding her hand before her to ward him off, she shook her head.
In a movement so swift, she didn’t even have time to gasp, he lay atop her torso, pinning her with his weight. His gaze pierced hers before he lowered his head. She felt a soft, fluttering touch and a slight sting on her sore lip as his mouth brushed hers.
Highlander’s Hope is available at Amazon
In February 2011, Collette decided to sit down and write a Regency suspense romance with a few Highlander’s thrown in to spice things up a bit. She wrote Highlander’s Hope, the first book in her Blue Rose Trilogy. She has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She’s been married for 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Her puppy, Ayva, sits on her lap while she writes. Ayva also nibbles at and lies on the keyboard. Collette loves a good joke, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.