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Friday, May 13, 2011

HIGHLANDER WEEK: Guest Post & Giveaway w/ Nicole North of Laird of Darkness



Now we have a guest post & giveaway from a real sweety and a fabulous author, Nicole North. I've read a few of her novels and have loved each of them! You can check out my reviews for two of them; Laird of Darkness and Kilted Lover by clicking on the title name. 

Why Do I Write About Highlanders?
By Nicole North

The Highlands of Scotland have a fascinating but tragic history, filled with conflict. The Highland clan culture of hundreds of years ago no longer exists today. It’s rewarding and interesting to go back in time and recreate that clan culture and see what it might have been like when men wore kilts, carried swords, and protected what was theirs, including their freedom, with fierce bravery. I admire those fearsome legendary men.

A Highland hero has a lot in common with other romance heroes we love to read about. He’s usually sexy, gorgeous, and alpha. What sets Highlanders apart, aside from their kilts and big swords, is the mystique that surrounds them. They’re often seen as savages or barbarians by the English characters in the story. At the time, Highlanders were called “Wild Scots” (as opposed to the “civilized” Scots of the Lowlands). I think something about that wildness appeals to women. Will he be that wild in the bedchamber? Hmm. Something to consider. Plus, if he’s a true hero, we know he’s going to have a code of honor and principals no matter how untamed he is.

The Highlands of Scotland are beautifully breathtaking, but also cold, windy, rainy, and harsh. If you can imagine survival of the fittest playing out there, then you’ll see why the people who lived in the Highlands hundreds of years ago had to be tough and strong with a granite constitution. Those who were fragile or pampered would not have make it long. In our stories, this makes our Highland heroes that much stronger than a normal man. He might even seem to have a superhuman toughness, such as when he might have to fight in hand to hand combat, go for days without food, and endure extreme weather conditions all at the same time.

The Highland heroes I write are all warriors. They’ve fought in battles or skirmishes and have the scars to prove it. Most of them are chiefs--strong, fair leaders of their clans. Their people look up to them, trust and admire them. The people might even fear their chief at times, because of a curse or paranormal ability, but deep down they still love and respect him. Loyalty is one of the most important traits of a Highlander.

One trait we can’t forget is that Scotsmen also have a sexy accent which is charming and spellbinding. Who can resist?

With most Highlanders, what you see is what you get. They’re honest and down to earth. They don’t put on a façade of “properness” nor do they go along with what society tells them is appropriate. They do what they want and enjoy life to the fullest. These kinds of uninhibited, daredevil heroes are great fun to write about. You never know what they will do.

Laird of Darkness
Laird of Darkness: Half-Fae Laird Duncan MacDougall is cursed. His nights are haunted by Otherworld creatures sent to kill him. The only way to stop them is to possess the magic bow currently in the hands of his enemy half-brother, Kinnon MacClaren. In desperation, Duncan plans to take MacClaren's bride-to-be hostage and exchange her for the bow.
Lady Alana Forbes has never met her intended, but she hopes he is handsome-and a good lover, for Alana is no innocent virgin. On her way to Castle Claren, Alana and her escorts are intercepted, and she is kidnapped by a man with extraordinary abilities-and every attribute she longs for in a mate.
Duncan didn't expect the woman he thought of as a mere pawn would be so beautiful, and so arousing. Alana is drawn to him as well-but Duncan still needs the bow, and Alana is betrothed to another. How far will Alana go to save the life of the man she's come to love?
Chapter One excerpt                                    Available from Carina press                                    Amazon                                                                 B&N

Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers as “exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious and pure romance.” Her stories contain “heart and heat, killer love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters.” She has sold four stories to Red Sage Publishing. Laird of Darkness is her first novella for Carina Press. Nicole’s stories usually focus on her favorite things: Scotland, Highlanders and hot men in kilts. She and her husband live in the Southeastern US, but she wishes she lived in the Scottish Highlands at least half the year. As she puts it, Scotland is a beautiful, magical and enchanting place where anything seems possible. She teaches online workshops about various aspects of writing, including sexual tension and how to write great love scenes. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love.

~*GIVEAWAY*~
Nicole is giving away a digital copy of her Highlander/Fae novel, Laird of Darkness. To enter, just comment answering this question:

Nicole writes about a half fae Highlander, if you were an author, what kind of Highlander would you write about? Fae? Time-traveler? Vampire? Laird? Outlaw? Or something else? 

Make sure to leave your email address with comment. Giveaway will close at 11:59pm on May 21st, open Internationally. 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vampire Highlander. His sucking does a body good.

ChrisS said...

Thanks for the great post. I am such a Highlanders Fan. Love the pics in the post. Especially the dark shadowed one. sigh...
If I were to write about a Highlander I would make him a magical druid or Fae.

rjofus AT gmail DOT com

June M. said...

I think I would have to make a combo of a Laird Vampire Highlander. I would definately read that book.

This book sounds great...I have been seeing alot about it and would Love to win a copy.

GFC follower: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Meredith said...

Maybe a shifter Highlander? Warm and fuzzy for cold nights.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Joy said...

Hi there if I were writing a historical fiction. I would write my higlander as a laird time traveler or an outlaw. I'm not impressed with vampires personally. I can deal with some fairies.

I have contemplaiting why the Highlander had become so popular in Romance Fiction.
I believe it has much to do with social neutering of males around the world. We always want what is unique and unatainable. Women want men who ooze sexuality and testosterone not these efeminate neutered men. Big strong braw man's man that makes them feel like a woman.

Alexa said...

Great post and pictures! I too LOVE Scotland and well, Scotsmen. I like stories with lairds, younger brothers of lairds, time travel ones too. The movie Highlander is what got me first interested in Scotland and the history, so I also like the rebel too.

Lu said...

My Highlander would be an outlaw - falsely accused, of course.
lulunau @ myfairpoint dot net

Donna Goode said...

I loved Laird of Darkness, as I've told you before, and the sexy Fae Highlander, Duncan. I loved what the questions you asked yourself before writing the story from the original legend and the answers that brought Duncan to life. I'm hooked and can't wait to read your sequel to this story! (I liked the pics, too! Who isn't captivated by a hot sexy Highlander in a kilt???
~Donna

Nicole North said...

Thanks everyone for reading my post and commenting on Highlanders! There is just something about them. Sigh.
Meredith, Right now I'm doing edits on an erotic romance novel I just sold to Ellora's Cave. It's called Blade of the Wolf. The hero is a Scottish wolf-shifter. :) Mmm I'm enjoying these edits, I must say.
I agree, Joy, I love those manly men who are testosterone laden. Yummy!
Lu, I love those falsely accused outlaw types too! Oh yea, I'm also writing a Highland Highwayman. He's definitely an outlaw. Also fun and hot.
Alexa, I know we both have a great love for Scotland and everything Scottish, especially the kilted hotties. :)
June, thanks! I'm glad you're seeing a lot about my book. Chandra, I also have a fondness for vampires of the Highland variety and have one as a secondary character in my werewolf book.
Chris, magical druids and Fae are great fun.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

Danielle Gorman said...

I'm a big Highlander fan. I especially like either Vampire or Werewolf Highlanders. They are just so sexy.

iqb99@yahoo.com

Ing said...

I'm all about the Laird and outlaws so if I even had any writing talent what so ever that's what I would write about!

And I couldn't agree with your post anymore! Love them sexy highlanders. They're just virile and rugged! Grr.

sok99c AT hotmail DOT com

Lizzie Walker said...

Nicole, you are so right about Highlanders. The mystery, the wildness, the allure. It makes you sigh. He's not necessarily a bad boy but he isn't a goodie two shoes either!

I love the pictures with blog by the way. That Jimmy Thomas...wozer. LOL

Tore said...

I would write a vampire highlander or time traveler. I think that would make for an interesting story. Please enter me in contest. I really would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

latishajean said...

vampire highlander sounds good I like alot of different ones! This book sounds very good would love to read it! thanks for the chance!
tishajean@ charter.net

mbreakfield said...

My highlander would be a dragon shifter.
marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

Nicole North said...

Danielle, I hope you’ll check out my upcoming Blade of the Wolf once it comes out from Ellora’s Cave.

Ing, I agree! I love the Highlanders’ virile ruggedness!

Lizzie, I know! I love that wildness and that you can never tell what they’re thinking. Probably something naughty!

Tore, thanks! I’m glad so many of you are still into Highland vampires! I’m writing a couple of them. Need to write faster. :)

latishajean, thanks for dropping in. Another vampire lover. Woohoo!

DarkBloodyVamp said...

LOL oh definitely a vampire Highlander!!!

I LOVE my vampires!

Thank you for this giveaway!

redfirewood888(AT)yahoo(DOT)ca

meggerfly said...

I think I would write about either a vampire highlander or perhaps a time traveling one.

rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

meggerfly said...

I think I would write about a highlander that time travels.

rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

HighlandHussy said...

I really enjoyed Laird of Darkness, and I'd love a Scottish werewolf of my own, but I write timetravellers, alas, maybe one day I'll get my Highland Werewolf :)

(don't enter me Crystal)

Library Lady said...

I'd write about a Highland Shifter.
adsanders77 at gmail dot com

Lisa (Lisa's World of Books) said...

Ilike the just plain old highlander. They dont need anything special.
lisasworldofbooks at charter dot net

Carol L. said...

lol I'd write about sexy Highlander that "came to life for Me" :)
That's definitely the Highlander I'd write about so I could have my own.
Carol L
Lucky4750@aol.com

Keisha Talley said...

I would write about a time- travelor it would be so cool

Ktalley28@gmail.com

winnie said...

I think I would write about a time-travel Highlander because I love reading time-travel Highlander romances myself. But then again I like vampires too and a vampire Highlander romance can be fairly intriguing as well :)

chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

BLHmistress said...

I'm not entering this because I have it but stopped by and say how much I loved Laird of Darkness, it was my first fae Highlander and I can't wait to read more of Nicole's works

Nicole North said...

Wow thanks so much for all the comments everyone! You guys are awesome!

HighlandHussy, I’m so glad you enjoyed Laird of Darkness! Thanks!

BLHmistress, thanks tons! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

dpbussie said...

I love a little of the dragons, lairds, druids and love lots of highlanders, faes, and vampires. Can throw in a little werewolf also. Makes for a lot of fun, don't ya think?? Haha

Dpbussie@yahoo.com

Stephanie said...

I would do a vampire highlander, but I love the idea of a half-fae highlander.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com