Monday, February 28, 2011

From Scotland With Love Blog Tour & Giveaway

Title: Seduced by Destiny
Author: Kira Morgan
Publisher: Forever Romance (HBG)
ISBN: 978-0-446-54817-5


All her life, Josselin Ancrum has been trained for combat, hoping to exact vengeance for her heroic mother, who was killed fighting the English. When asked to spy for the Scottish Queen, Jossy joyfully accepts. But when a handsome stranger rescues her from sudden danger, his charm distracts her from her mission.

On the surface, Drew MacAdam may appear to be nothing more than a carefree champion, but his heart harbors a dark secret: This Highland hero is actually a skilled English soldier with a hatred for war and for the Scottish. Yet from the moment he meets the feisty Jossy, he's captured by her fiercely loyal heart. He's determined the honey-haired lass will be his ultimate prize - until the tragedy of their entwined legacies is revealed. Are these star-crossed lovers to be divided by their pasts? Or will they be...seduced by destiny?
(from the publisher)

I would like to thank Kira Morgan for providing this lovely guest post explaining how that she creates that perfect blend of history, fiction, and romance.

I’m delighted to be here among readers who enjoy historical romances as much as I do! Thanks for inviting me.

Historicals are probably the trickiest of the romance to write. With contemporaries, you can draw on the world around you. For paranormals, that world can be altered. But with historicals, you have to stay within the framework of what really happened.

This requires a lot of research. And that’s where the trouble begins.

You see, historical authors LOVE research. Digging into old documents and unearthing obscure facts is endlessly fascinating for us! For example, here are a few tidbits I learned while researching SEDUCED BY DESTINY:

Queen Mary and her ladies occasionally strolled through Edinburgh, disguised as peasants.
The price of ale in the 1500s was fixed, and special brew officers called aleconners were appointed to monitor the quality of the brew.
Queen Mary sailed into the Scottish harbor a few days earlier than expected on her historic return from France, prompting a scramble to greet her at the dock.
Golf was banned in Scotland in the 1400s, because it took time away from the more useful skill of archery.
Cryptography, writing in secret codes, flourished under Queen Elizabeth’s secretary of spies, Sir Francis Walsingham.
Early golf clubs looked a lot like hockey sticks.
Many spies used in the 16th century were women, because they could pose as maidservants and move about almost invisibly.

While these discoveries are interesting--and often lead to several hours of distraction as one riveting fact leads to another, sending an author down unintended paths--they can’t always be used in the finished book.

Why? Because we’re not writing textbooks. We’re writing love stories. And the main focus had to be on the romance between the hero and the heroine.

So how do you create a balance--include real history, toss in some fun facts, and keep the story moving along?

First, you have to be very firm about not altering history. Nothing is worse than violating the past, for instance having Queen Mary meet Queen Elizabeth face-to-face, which never happened. It also comes off as phony of your fictional characters just happen to be on the scene for every major historical event.

Second, the fun facts, as tasty as they are, must be used like spice. You have to sprinkle them in only as needed and where appropriate. Sure, dry mustard is delicious, but you probably don’t want to bake it into your chocolate chip cookies. That’s why you won’t find anything about aleconners, the ban on golf, or a treatise on cryptography in SEDUCED BY DESTINY. They just weren’t relevant enough to the plot to include.

Third, it’s all about the romance! The story has to be strong enough on its own that you could pick it up and move it to another time period, change the outfits, occupations, and politics, and it would still work. This is true for Shakespeare--his plays are constantly being done with new settings, new costumes, and language alterations, but the stories, because they are timeless and universal, never change.

I hope that you enjoy my special blend of history, fiction, and romance in SEDUCED BY DESTINY. Fell free to friend me at, follow me at, and visit my website at, where I have a sweepstakes to win the silver thimble that Drew gives to Jossy!

Title: Highland Masters
Author: Amanda Scott
Publisher: Forever Romance (HBG)
ISBN: 978-0-446-57431-0


When eighteen-year-old Lady Catriona Mackintosh discovers a wounded man in the forest near her Highland home, little does she know that he has sworn a sacred oath to kill her father and other members of the powerful Highland confederation known as Clan Chattan. Nor does she realize that she has met her soul mate. Independent, competent, intelligent, fiercely proud of her heritage, determined always to live near her own family, and known to her family as the "wee wildcat" because of her quick temper, Catriona is the daughter of a Highland chieftain and granddaughter of the even more powerful Chief (or Captain) of Clan Chattan. But her life changes forever when she persuades Sir Finlagh Cameron to return with her to her home to recover from his wounds.

Sir Finlagh "Fin" Cameron is on a mission for the heir to Scotland's throne, who has sent him to the Highlands to persuade the Chief of Clan Chattan to arrange a secret meeting for him with two other great lords (the Lord of the Isles and the Lord of the North). Until Fin meets Catriona, however, he has no idea that her father was the Clan Chattan war leader who led them in the battle that wiped out many of Clan Cameron's best warriors, including Fin's own father. The sole survivor of that battle, Fin accepted a bequest of vengeance from his dying father, providing him with a dilemma to face as he begins to fall in love with Catriona. He is not the only one enticed by her charms, either. There are two other contenders, one of whom is his own master, the heir to Scotland's throne. With royal mischief afoot, if Catriona and Fin are ever to find happiness, they must first avoid disaster that could change Scotland's history, and find ways to be open and honest with each other.

Please check out WE LOVE SCOTLAND to read the true stories behind these Scottish romances.


To enter please leave your name & a valid email address. Contest open to residents of the US & Canada only.
Contest ends March 19th, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Thieves of Darkness by Richard Doetsch

Title: The Thieves of Darkness
Author: Richard Doetsch
ISBN: 978-1-4165-9897-8
Publisher: Pocket Books

An irresistible treasure, two master thieves, and a secret as old as mankind . . .
Michael St. Pierre, a reformed master thief, thinks he has left his criminal days far behind him, when he receives word that his best friend, Simon, has been locked up and sentenced to die in a brutal desert prison. Breaking into jail for the first time in his checkered career, Michael is stunned to discover that his new girlfriend, KC, is connected to Simon's case.
With a madman on their heels, the three adventurers make their way to Istanbul in search of the mysterious artifact that landed Simon behind bars in the first place: a map containing the location of a holy place lost to the mists of time, a repository of knowledge and treasure predating Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Testing their courage and wits, Michael and his team are forced to plot a series of daring thefts that take them inside some of the city's most celebrated (and heavily guarded) sanctums, from the imperial harem of Topkapi Palace to the tombs of the Hagia Sophia itself. More than priceless artifacts are at stake—the lives of loved ones and perhaps the fate of humanity itself hang in the balance.
A globe-trotting adventure that wings from the glittering banks of the Bosporus to the highest peaks of the Himalayas, The Thieves of Darkness confirms Richard Doetsch's place as the modern-day master of pulse-pounding suspense.
(from the publisher)

My Thoughts:

I have heard wonderful things about this book and let me start off by saying that I was not disappointed. There is something about the way that Richard Doetsch writes that pulls you into the story and make you want to know more. I started off with the intentions of reading the first few chapters and then calling it a night, well, the first few chapter became eight and then before I knew it I had half the book read. I literally had t force myself to put it up and go to bed, if I had had more time I would have completed the book in one sitting.

I found the plot to be highly intriguing, as well as the characters. It was fast paced and very original, this book will defiantly keep you on the edge of your seat.

I have one copy to giveaway. Contest open to residence of the US only, to enter please leave your name and a valid email address. Contest ends March 15, 2011

My thanks to Pocket Books for both the review copy as well as the giveaway!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers


This has to have been one of the best books that I have read in the young adult genre for awhile. It has the feel of classic writing, while offering up a folksy vibe to the writing. Telling the story of Grady, a boy who is with a traveling con show, this book offers the reader, adventure and soul. It’s one boys view on finding his own place in the world, and often he offers up his thoughts on the matter, which is very entertaining. As the tale turns we see unexpected changes, and lovely twist. I believe that both the young and the young at heart will enjoy this book!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Title: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
By Kresley Cole
He vowed he'd come for her. . .
Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives—only an endless yearning.
She awaits his return. . .
When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals, unaware that he belongs to their world.
To sate a desire more powerful than death. . .
Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan's torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?
(from the back of the book)

This is book 11 in the Immortals After Dark series, and my second go at reading the series. I have to say that I enjoyed book 10 a bit better, why, I have no idea, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, could not hold my attention like the last, although it was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the characters, for some reason I could not concentrate on the book. I have read outstanding blurbs about this book, so I may have to give it a go when I am in a different mood.