Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Next Big Thing

No teaser today.  I was tagged by my friend and Celtic Hearts chapter-mate Natalie Murphy in The Next Big Thing meme.  In this meme, writers answer questions about the project they've been working on.  Enjoy!

What is your working title of your book?
Highland Fire. 

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The story just came to me one day.  I'd been wanting to write a Scottish-set novella that was both historical and paranormal.  I was browsing through my notes and came across a forgotten idea, which led me to write Highland Fire.  A lot of my story ideas come to me when I'm falling asleep, waking up, or taking a bubble bath.

What genre does your book fall under?
Historical/Paranormal romance.  The story is set in the Scottish Highlands in 1410.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I always cast my characters.  I'm a visual learner, so I like to have lots of photo references for my story setting and characters.  Here are my heroine and hero:

Moira MacDonald and Malcolm Mackintosh

 Scarlett Johansson and Gerard Butler

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? 
I've yet to write a one sentence synopsis for my novella.  I do have a blurb written, but it's extremely rough and not something I'm ready to share with the world...yet.  Keep an eye on my WIPS page in the coming year for more info on Highland Fire.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I fully intend to go the traditional publisher route and also seek an agent.  However, I'm not opposed to self-publishing. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hard to say, since I'm still writing. =)  I'm currently at nearly 14K for this novella.  I've been focusing on it (and no other WIP) for the last few months.  I hope to finish it soon.  I reeaally want to write THE END on one of my WIPs. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That's a difficult question because I don't want to compare myself to any other writer.  I've been there, done that, and it led me to a serious case of writer's block when I first starting writing.  I've been told my voice is lyrical, strong, and dramatic.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Shana Abe is my favorite author.  Her medieval and Scottish-set historicals originally inspired me to write my own book.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?  
An Alpha hero in a kilt.  A feisty heroine with otherworldly powers.  A hot romance in medieval Scotland.

Snippet of my book:
Unedited excerpt -  From Chapter Two

Only a scant few feet separated Moira from the Mackintosh chief.  Even so, the iron grate could not shield her against the sudden wave of sensation that assaulted her when he sheathed his sgian dubh and rose to his full height.  Her thoughts scattered.  Her focus sharpened.  The world around her melted into nothingness, and all she could do was look at him.  She couldn’t stop staring.  She couldn’t blink.  For a second she even forgot to breathe. 

It had grown very quiet.  The sudden hush was unnerving but exhilarating, the calm before the storm.  She gave herself over to it, holding completely still.  Waiting, watching.   He walked toward her, and she took in his hard-cut shape, the skin-tightness of his breeks, the way he moved with catlike graze.

Oh God.  Denying him entry was going to be harder than she expected.

He took a step closer.  Her pulse quickened.  Her womb tightened.  

His gaze held onto her and she knew then that he’d love her until the end of his days.   “I did as ye asked,” he said.”

“I know.”

“I followed your da after he departed Castle Doune.  I took him into custody before he reached Moidart, just like ye asked,” he said, as if she’d forgotten her tearful appeal to him all those months ago, and the subsequent events. “I held your da confined until he relented.”

“Three agonizing months, I imagine.”

“It was no’ meadow stroll.  Your da wasn’t happy, to say the least.  He blathered for hours about how ye’d aroused some curse and damned us both.”

She could feel the color drain from her face.  “A curse?  What...Whatever did he mean by that?”  

He shrugged.  “’Twas a scare tactic, naught more.  Your da will say anything to keep us apart.” 

Indeed. Allan MacDonald, second chief of Clanranald and Moidart, wasn’t short on words when it came to his ominous predictions.  Doona love him, gel, is how he began every warning.  She’d thought it all nonsense, a way to keep her from becoming too deeply involved with a far more experienced man.  If only she’d heeded Da’s admonition before he departed Castle Doune, she wouldn’t be living this nightmare. 

“Such talk did no’ trouble me,” Malcolm said.  “I know where ye belong.”

Exactly where she belonged he left unsaid.  Her mind filled in the missing words.  By my side.  In my arms.  In my bed.  She heaved a heavy sigh.  “I am where I must be,” was her reply.  “Da understands that, so should ye.”

“I know ye didn’t like deceiving your da.  It was your only option.  And it paid off.  We gained your da’s blessing.  We are free to wed.  ‘Tis why I sent word to ye at Castle Doune and directed ye to come to me in Moy.  So why run from me, Moira?”

The piercing force of his stare stabbed at her heart.  It skipped a beat.  Ached with a chest-squeezing desire that nigh buckled her knees.  Dizzy with want, she reached out a hand to steady herself.  Her fingers clamped onto the portcullis in a white-knuckled grip.  “I directed my MacQueen kin to escort me home to Tioram when I realized I had made a wrong step,” she said, the only truth she could reveal.  The rest must remain a mystery.  “We are not a good match, my laird.  I erred when I pledged ye my troth.”

“Foolish words spoken by an untried lass.”

“It is the truth.” 

“I think not.” 

The brutish curve of his sensual lips pushed her tongue from her mouth to moisten her parted lips.  The gate rattled beneath the pressure of her grip as she fought to regain her senses.  It was no use.  He was too near and she was already lost to the dynamic pull of his rugged masculinity.  The sheer size and strength he exhibited held her in thrall.

“I am sorry I did not see the error of my ways sooner,” she managed to say.  “What is done is done.  I cannot undo my mistakes, but I can tell ye now that we are not for one another.”

He moved closer and placed a hand on top of hers.  Fire sparked to life in her veins at the simple touch.  She stilled; every muscle within her tensing. 

“We are forever bound,” he said.  “We can no’ live apart.”

Now I get to pass this on for someone else to do!  I'm tagging one of my amazing writer friends and Celtic Hearts Sister, Sarah Hoss at Heart of Romance.


  1. Wonderful snippet! I would definitely keep reading ;)

    Thanks for playing along! <3

    1. Nat - Thanks a bunch for your kind words!