Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chasing a Highland Moon

"Chasing a Highland Moon" is my 3rd book in The Highland Moon Series. The hero, Cinead, or "Cin" was a secondary character in my second book, "Once Upon a Highland Moon." Here is an excerpt from "Chasing a Highland Moon."

"Come," he said, his voice a soft timbre that sent a shiver over her skin.
Claire opened the door. Saints above! He was taking a bath. She squeezed her eyes shut tight and quickly turned her back to him."I-I-I've yer whisky, m'laird," she said in a voice unsteady even to her own ears.
"Then bring it here, lass."
Claire slowly turned around and walked toward the tub, keeping her eyes fastened on his face. His eye and the bruise on his cheek were almost completely healed, and she could now see what an attractive man he truly was. When she handed him the bottle, his devilish grin sent her insides into a spin.
He raised a brow. "Could you fetch me a cup from the table? Or should I get it myself?" He shifted, as if he were about to rise out of the tub.
"Nay," she squeaked, quickly grabbing the cup and handing it to him.
He grinned and settled back against the tub. "Much thanks." He poured himself a dram of whisky and tossed it back, then poured another. He held up the cup. "Would you like a wee dram, lass?"
Claire shook her head, even though she more than likely needed one at the moment.
He shrugged. "Suit yourself. But if you should change your mind, let me ken."
She was mesmerized by the play of muscle in his arms and across his chest. The same muscles that had been hard and smooth beneath her hands. Her whole body suddenly felt flushed, as if by a fever. She had to get out of the bedchamber—and away from him and the wanton way he made her feel. "If ye're in need of naught else, I'll be taking my leave now." She turned to go.
"I'm afraid I am in need of your help, lass."
She turned back around. "In what way, m'laird?"
"My hair and my back."
Saints above! What was he talking about? "M'laird?"
"My ribs have not entirely healed and I am unable to reach my back. Would you mind?" He smiled, holding the soap out to her.
She reluctantly took the sandalwood scented cake and moved to stand behind him. She had never washed anyone's hair in her life, and until recently, Alice had washed Claire's since she was a child.
Claire hesitated. "I'm afraid I might hurt yer head."
"Dinnae fash yourself, lass. You'll no' hurt me."
Claire took a deep breath. "Very well." She lifted the bucket of water left beside the tub, and slowly poured half of it over Cin's head, then set it back down. After achieving a good lather, she worked it through his long hair, ever mindful of his injury while she did. Once it was clean, she rinsed the suds away with the rest of the water.
"Finished, m'laird," she said, admiring the wet tendrils hanging well past his shoulders.
"Much thanks, Jenny. Now my back, if you dinnae mind." He leaned forward and waited.
She slowly ran the soap over his skin, making certain she did not miss a spot. Long after she was finished, she let her hands travel over his shoulders, down his back and over his ribs, for she ever so much enjoyed touching him. Sensations she had never experienced centered in the pit of her stomach and moved outward over her entire body. Cin groaned and she yanked her hand away, fearing she might have hurt him. "'Tis done," she said, trying to keep her trembling voice steady, but feared she was not doing a very good job. She dried her hands and picked up the empty tray.
Cin leaned back and looked at her, his gaze much darker than before. "Dinnae fash yourself, lass. I'm no' in the habit of seducing my servants, however beautiful they may be. His blue eyes twinkled as his mouth curved into a wicked grin.
Claire couldn't breathe. She dropped her gaze, tightening her grip on the tray until her knuckles turned white. "If there be naught else, m'laird, I'll take m' leave."
Cin was silent for a moment, then spoke. "That will be all."
"Aye, m'laird." She curtsied and could not get out of his bedchamber quickly enough. She hurried down the corridor and as far away from Cin MacLeod's sinful gaze as she could possibly get.

Stopping short of entering the kitchen, she leaned against the stone wall and blew out a breath to steady her nerves, as well as her trembling hands. Saints above! The man was far too attractive.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Glamis Castle

Today I did a post at History Undressed about Glamis Castle, thought to be the most haunted castle in Scotland.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I Write What I do

My friend and Scottish Highland Romance author, Vonda Sinclair, asked me to participate in this blog tour about my writing process.

What am I working on? I am currently working on "Chasing a Highland Moon," the third book in my Highland Moon series, which I hope to finish by the end of summer or before. The hero is Cinead (Cin) MacLeod, a secondary character in the second book in the series, "Once upon a Highland Moon." He is a close friend to the heros of my first two books, Kade and Galen, as well as Duncan, who will be the hero in my fourth book. Cin is Laird of Stagshead Castle on the Isle of Skye and chief of the MacLeod clan. His Viking descent is obvious in his pale blue eyes and long flaxen hair, as well  as his tall height and muscular build. He also has quite an eye for the lasses, which becomes quite a problem when the one who catches his eye happens to be a young lady posing as a servant at his castle. You see, Cin has a strict policy of hands off when it comes to his own servants. I hope readers will enjoy finding out what happens when Cin learns the truth.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? A hard question. The best way I can think to answer this is to say that my heros are intelligent, strong, brave, loyal and handsome Highland warriors and gentlemen, who will let nothing stop them from protecting and having the woman they love, even if it could cost them their own lives. My heroines are strong, dependable, independent, intelligent, and brave young women who go against the odds to get what they want, whether it be their freedom, or the man they love.

Why do I write what I do? This is an easy one. I love Scotland, its people, history, castles and breathtaking landscapes, and let us not forget, men in kilts! Of course, all my heros wear belted plaids with lots of weapons attached. I've been to Scotland and use the sights, sounds and smells from those trips to add to the flavor of my stories. And of course, I am a romantic at heart and enjoy writing about people falling in love. I especially love writing about the Highlanders and the Highlands, which is my favorite part of Scotland. I think Robert Burns summed it all up in his poem:

            "My Heart's In The Highlands."

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

How does your writing process work? Basically, after brainstorming, a scene pops into my head and I put it in my story where I think it might fit. Often times, a scene will be moved around several times before I'm satisfied that it is in the right place. After writing the scenes from beginning to end in a very rough draft, I go back to the beginning and flesh out the story, adding to the relationship of the hero and heroine, bringing them closer and closer throughout the story until they realize they belong together, throwing in a few obstacles here and there. After that, I go over it a couple more times, have it critiqued, then beta read before I'm finished. I do a lot of research while writing, for I want to make certain that what I'm putting in my story is accurate, whether it be the time of year a certain berry ripens, or when the gorse is in bloom.