Friday, May 6
It's finally Friday! To some it's the end of the week, but others will say it's the beginning of the weekend. Beginnings and endings. When one door closes another one opens. Yet, other times you don't necessarily want something to end, just the chance to begin again as is the case with our featured hero today. He married his young bride out of honor...and against his wishes. It wasn't a promising beginning, but upon his return from war he wants a second chance to begin again.
Author Margaret Mallory is my guest today to share her new beginning, The Guardian, which is the first book in The Return of the Highlanders series. Will her hero get the chance to redeem himself with his abandoned and unwanted bride? A new beginning of sorts? Let's find out shall we :) Read and enjoy!
Welcome to back to Seductive Musings Margaret! Your newest novel, THE GUARDIAN is the first book in your new Return of the Highlander series. Can you tell us a little bit about the books in this series, how many there might be, and how they will all be connected?
The year is 1513, and Scotland is in turmoil after its cataclysmic defeat by Henry VIII’s forces at the Battle of Flodden. After learning of the disaster, four fearless Highland warriors rush home from France to find their chieftain and king dead, their clan in peril, and rebellion raging.
Each of the four heroes, who are close cousins and friends, would gladly give his life to protect his clan. Asking him to take a wife to serve the clan's interests is another matter altogether....Or so he thinks, until he finds the woman he wants. Then our returning warrior must face his greatest battle yet: winning the heart of a willful Scottish lass.
Your previous series, All the King’s Men, featured English knights, but in your new series your heroes are Scottish Highlanders. What made you want to cross the border, and what do you think makes Highlanders such great heroes in your opinion?
I still have my heroes clanking swords, and Scottish history provides a backdrop full of conflict. There’s something wonderful about the strength and earthiness of these wild Highland warriors of the early 16th century. They’re a great fit for the kind of dramatic, adventurous romances I like to write.
I think we can both agree that it doesn’t get much hotter than a man in a kilt. Tell us about your hero, Ian MacDonald. What do you think will make readers, much like his heroine Sileas, fall in love with him despite his five year absence? And can you tell us a little bit about their story in THE GUARDIAN?
From the time she could walk, Sìleas loved blue-eyed, black-haired Ian MacDonald. Ian, who was five years older, ignored the teasing from other lads about “his wee shadow” and let Sileas tag along. Since no one else seemed to look out for the little girl, Ian was the one who always rescued her from trouble.
A few years later, Ian is a handsome young warrior, and thirteen-year-old Sileas is in her absolutely least attractive phase. After Sìleas prevails upon him to come to her aid yet again, Ian is forced to say wedding vows to her with a dirk at his back. Ian is furious and blames Sìleas. Of course, Ian doesn’t consummate the marriage—that would be disgusting—and he leaves for France.
The story really begins when Ian returns five years later. I think readers will admire Ian’s determination to redeem himself by saving his clan and righting the wrongs of his past. I hope they will be touched by his journey with Sileas, as he moves from desire, to passion, and finally to respect and a deep, abiding love for her. Of course, Sileas is going to make him suffer...
What's your favorite scene or moment from THE GUARDIAN, and why? Can you describe it (or provide a short excerpt) for us without giving too much away?
I won’t say this is my favorite scene, but it was a fun one to write. Ian has had a wee too much to drink and decides to make his move.
What are a few fun facts about this book or your research trip that readers would love to know?
- Because renting a car with an automatic transition would cost you hundreds of dollars more, you really can drive a stick shift for the first time in twelve years while also learning to drive on the left side of the road.
- Enormous tour buses actually do fit on those narrow lanes, although you will not believe this when they are coming toward you.
- When your passenger continually shouts that you are driving too far to the left—veering away from those tour buses—you will need to confirm this by hitting the curb several times.
- One- and two-lane roundabouts are your friend; three- and four-lane roundabouts are not.
- The speedometer of your rental car is in miles, not kilometers. This means that you do not need to attempt to convert kilometers to miles in your head while learning to work the stick shift with your left hand, finding the wipers, and remembering to stay on the left. Of course, if you believed the speedometer was in kilometers, then you were driving so fast you will want to pull over to recover.
- You will enjoy your trip more if you sign the credit card slips for gas without looking at the amount. You can read them when you get home!
Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.
After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.
As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.
Congratulations Margaret on what promises to be an excellent new beginning! The last time Margaret was here to visit she was finishing up a different series, and planning her research trip to Scotland. I volunteered my services... you know in case she needed someone to....do anything menial :) Sadly, she didn't take me up on it, so my dreams of a trip to Scotland will have to be lived vicariously through this new series and the beautiful pictures she took while abroad :(
If you'd like to learn more about Margaret Mallory and the books she writes you can find her at website www.margaretmallory.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and at Goodreads. I personally enjoyed the photos from her research trip to Scotland on her website (a place I would love to visit), and she also has some history behind the series here, in case you are interested.
To celebrate the release of the first book in Margaret Mallory's The Return of the Highlanders series, The Guardian, her publisher, Forever Romance, would like to giveaway a copy of the book to three lucky Musings followers. Here's how you can enter to win:
Ways to earn entries:
- Mandatory: Finish this sentence: THE GUARDIAN is an ugly-duckling, second-chances, and forced-marriage story all rolled into one. What’s your favorite type of relationship story? (good for 1 entry)
- Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
- If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
- Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
- You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
Rules and disclaimers:
- This contest is open to US & Canada addresses only
- You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
- The contest will end on May 14th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
- Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
- The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
- The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
- Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
- Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit
- All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
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