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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amanda Forester of The Highlander's Heart (Interview & Giveaway)

Good morning everyone and happy hump day! Today I'd like to welcome historical romance author, Amanda Forester, over. Amanda is celebrating the release of her second Scottish Romance, The Highlander's Heart, and joining us for an interview and giveaway. Enjoy!


Amanda
Hi, Amanda, and welcome to Reading Between the Wines. I am so excited that you could join us today!
Let’s start off with you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself please?

Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you today!  I am so excited to be sharing my latest release, The Highlander's Heart.  This journey started many years ago when my husband was deployed to Iraq.  Those were the longest 14 months of my life.  Reading historical romance novels helped get me through some tough times.  Fortunately, my husband came home, and I got inspired to start writing stories that had always been swirling around in my brain.  It is great to share one with you!

I am such a Highlander hussy and am thrilled to find another author who writes about these sexy kilted heroes! What inspired you to write in this sub-genre of romance?

Sexy kilted heroes!  What more is there to say?  The Highlander is to me the quintessential alpha male.  He is fiercely independent yet loyal to his clan.  He is rough around the edges, but is willing to risk his life to save the woman he loves.  In medieval Scotland there were no external forces keeping law and order, but rather clans required strong leaders who could protect and serve their people.  Put all these qualities in a hunky man wearing a kilt and you have my ideal hero!

For readers unfamiliar with your works, please tell us about your Highlander series.

The Highlander series tells stories of Highland lairds and lasses, and an occasional English countess or French knight who fall in love with them.  My series is set in 14th century Scotland at the beginning of what will later be known as the Hundred Year's War.  King David of Scotland has been held in English captivity for the past ten years and tensions are high between the clans to determine who will gain power in the king's absence.  It's a great background for clan rivalries, political intrigue, and of course a little romance!

Highlander's SwordDid you need to do any kind of research while writing? If so, what?

Yes, I need to do a lot of research, often before I can start writing anything.  Reading the history, some of which sounds too fantastic to be real, inspires my writing.  When I learned about the history of King David being held for ransom by England and the conflict within the clans to win power, I knew it was a great tumultuous setting for a story.  When I found that French troops actually traveled to Scotland in 1355 to join forces to battle England, I knew I found the perfect setting for my story.  Clan conflict, French troops, what could be better setting for a romance?

Have you ever visited Scotland yourself?

I have only traveled as far as England, but I would LOVE to visit Scotland someday.  To see the castles, visit the monuments, breathe the air, and drool over talk to a real Highlander... I might never return!

The second novel in this series, The Highlander’s Heart, was recently released (Woohoo, congrats!) What can we expect from Isabelle and David’s story?

Lady Isabelle escapes her murderous English husband only to be abducted by a Highland warrior and held for ransom.  Her determination to break free from captivity is exceeded only by the passion growing between her and the Highland Laird.  David Campbell plans to hold Isabelle for ransom as an easy way to line his pockets and return her back where she belongs, but he is unprepared for a feisty English lass with a penchant for finding trouble.  Caught between rival clans bent on claiming the throne of Scotland, Campbell must choose a side, and a bride.  Standing on the brink of war, Isabelle may be his only hope to save his clan, and his heart.

Is there a scene from the novel that really captured your heart while writing?

My editor asked for some revisions on my first draft.  At first I was resistant, but as I went back over the story I found there were scenes I needed to tell.  One of my favorite scenes happens after Campbell first meets Isabelle and saves her from a wild boar.  I love first kisses!  Now naturally Isabelle doesn't go around kissing men she just meets, but if you had just been saved from attackers and rescued from a wild boar by a hunky Highlander... well wouldn't you?  Read an excerpt here.

HeartHow did you celebrate the release of The Highlander’s Heart?

I celebrated my release at the Emerald City Writer's Conference.  This had special meaning for me because it was at the same conference several years ago that I met my editor and agent, which led to my first sale.  It was great fun to sell my first copies of The Highlander's Heart at the ECWC book fair, where I could share them with all my friends and family.

Can we look forward to anymore Highlander novels from you? If so, can you share about what’s to come?

The third book in the Highlander series, True Highland Spirit, is scheduled to be released in March, 2012.  This next book tells the story of Morrigan McNab (who you'll meet in Highlander's Heart).  She is a feisty heroine, better at swordplay than making sweet talk with some man, but she'll soon find a few kisses can be preferable to a fight!

What are five must-read authors for you?

I do enjoy the classics such as Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer.  For classic Scottish medieval the historicals of Julie Garwood are always a good choice, and I always enjoy the adventure and humor of Lynn Kurland.  The one book I do try to read every evening is Psalms, it is a great way to end the day and it reminds me that I have a purpose and that I am loved.

Thanks so much for stopping by Amanda and I look forward to reading more of your works in the future!

Thanks so much for inviting me!  I love to hear from folks so here's where you can find me lurking the web:   website, facebook, or twitter.



~*GIVEAWAY*~ 
Thanks to the wonderful people at SourceBooks I have one copy of The Highlander's Heart to give away to one US or Canadian reader. To enter, just leave a comment on this interview and then fill out the rafflecopter below with your name and email address. Extra entries are available as well but not required. Good luck! 






30 comments:

Under the Covers said...

I've seen this series around. I need to get jumping on this! And I liked the choices the must-read list! Austen especially.

Annie

Amanda Forester said...

Annie - Austen is the best! Of course the P&P version with Colin Firth is my favorite also. When I was I bedrest with baby #2 I watched that movie countless times and it never got old!

Melissa said...

I love book giveaways, it's great for finding out about authors I might otherwise not hear about. I'm always on the lookout for a new read. This sounds like fun :)

Blue Shedevil said...

I am always on board for a Highlander book. I wish Julie Garwood would go back to this genre, she was a master with a historical romance.

Anonymous said...

Coming from Scotland myself (fife) I love all things scottish, especially the kilts :0) so Highlander books hold a special place in my heart.

June M. said...

I have not read any of Ms.Forester's books but this does look great. I do love a good Highlander book. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to try this series.

Blogger Name: Krystal Larson said...

The book looks great, thank you!

Kara said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

Di said...

I love the Highlanders & since we have similar tastes in authors, I'm betting I'll love this book too.

Diane D - Florida said...

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for a great interview and for also letting us know a bit about "The Highlanders Heart". I love Scottish Historial Romance books. I appreciate all the research that all you great Authors do to make your stories more authentic.

Looking forward to reading this which I've added to my "wish list".

Thanks for this opportunity.

dpd333 (AT) aol dot com

Book Flame said...

I would love to read this thank you

Sophia Rose said...

I enjoyed the interview and thought it was great that the series is based on good research for historical accuracy as I like to learn something between drooling over descriptions of fit men in kilts.

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

Chrisbails said...

Great interview and love the covers of these books. Both of these books looks great and would love to win and read. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
christinebails@yahoo.com

ML said...

I can never say no to a book with a Highlander on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!
mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

NoraA said...

My DIL loves Highland Romance novels. I'm trying to win this for her.

NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Morrigan McNab - Really like that name. The Morrigan comes to mind and she's my favorite celtic god.

SilverRose313 said...

I have heard such great things about this series! I can't wait to start reading it myself!

Chantel said...

Thank you for the wonderful interview, I'm looking forward to reading your books.

Karen C said...

I do agree - 'Sexy, kilted heroes' does say it all! Thanks for the chance to win your latest!
kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

redzsm said...

I love me some Highlanders!!! Thank you for the giveaway!!

erin said...

OOOOH... I've got a soft spot for the Highlanders :) Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!

Happy Thanksgiving all1

Barbara said...

Great interview and giveaway! Highlanders are always sexy...can't wait to read more about Isabelle and David. I know I'll want to go back and nab the first book!

barbbattaglia@yahoo.com

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

This is a series I've been planning on reading for awhile now.

Na said...

This story has caught my eye. Thank you for the giveaway.

BJ said...

I do love my highlanders...so I support any author that writes about them...and I must say these books look YUMMY!
Thanks for the insights :0)

Emily Tardy said...

I love reading romance, especially historic romances! Thank you RBTW for bringing another wonderful new-to-me author to my attention =D

emilytardy@yahoo.com

geschumann said...

Haven't read much with highlanders, but would like to change that. Thanks for the giveaway! Gloria

Jolene and Family said...

Love me some highlanders :) Thanks for the great interview and giveaway

Helen said...

These look great. I would love the chance to read these. Historical romance is one of my favorite genres.

Carol L. said...

I love Highlander reads and have Highlander's Heart on my TRL. Thanks for the opportunity.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com