Title: Highlander Redeemed
Author: Laurin Wittig
Series: Guardians of theTarge
Genre: Medieval Romance
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Cover Artist: Regina WambaSummary:
Scotia MacAlpin may be only eighteen years old, but she’s no stranger to trouble. Her latest incident—which resulted in a death and forced her clan into battle—has made her an outcast among her exiled people. Scotia is tired of being ignored and trapped in the shadow of her sister, a gifted Guardian of the Targe; and she’s become hell-bent on destroying the army out to capture the ancient Highland relic for their English king.
Duncan of Dunlairig has looked out for Scotia since she started to walk. She was as restless and reckless then as she is now—only the stakes have become higher and more perilous. While the rest of Clan MacAlpin ostracizes her, he secretly helps Scotia become the warrior she yearns to be. But the real test of her skills may come when Duncan needs her help—and her long-forgotten heart—in this thrilling and romantic Guardians of the Targe tale.
Duncan braced himself for the verbal battle to come, but before he could make himself known, Scotia began to move, hesitantly and without her usual grace, but so focused on her task he could almost taste her determination. She watched her feet, letting her weapons go slack in her hands. Even so, he quickly recognized the exercise Malcolm had been teaching the lads a few days ago. She shook her head, then started the series of moves again, talking to herself just under her breath. She repeated the process over and over until, all of a sudden, she flew through the short exercise as if it were a dance she had known her entire life, thrusting, parrying, spinning, attacking the dirt clad roots of a toppled tree. The sharp sound of wood on wood reverberated through the forest like a woodpecker hammering on a hollow log.
His breath caught in his chest. She was magnificent. Beautiful. Strong.
She fought as if demons threatened her life.
And Duncan could not take his eyes off her. She was everything he would expect her to be if he did not know her so well.
Top 10 Historical Fiction Themed Books
It’s always difficult when someone asks me to pick favorites like this but I’ll give it a whirl – one caveat, many of my favorite “historical fiction” books weren’t written as historicals, but rather as contemporaries (think Jane Austen writing about the world she lived in), also some of these aren’t romances but they were formative in my reading and writing life. In no particular order:
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory
A Knight in Shining Armor – Jude Devereaux
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Untamed/Forbidden/Enchanted – a 3-fer from Elizabeth Lowell
Home by Morning – Alexis Harrington
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
To Love and to Cherish/To Have and to Hold/Forever and Ever – a 3-fer from Patricia Gaffney
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Memoires of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
1. What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
The thing that brought me to writing this genre was that I could not find enough Scottish historical romances to feed my addiction. Seriously, when I first discovered this genre of romance there weren’t very many people writing in it, or at least there weren’t very many carried at my local Border’s at the time. As a reader, well, romance brought me to these books, but also I had been to Scotland when I was eleven and fell hard for the place and the people, so combining the two into one story was the best of everything.
2. When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
Okay, not outlining. Shudder. I am not a linear thinker so outlines have never worked for me, not even in elementary school. The part of the creative process I love the best is the pre-writing part when I’m brainstorming characters, researching the history, mulling over maps to find just the perfect setting, auditioning plots, making lists of possible scenes, and the story is unfolding in my head like a storyboard for a movie. At that point my story is perfect…and then I start writing and discover all the holes in the story I didn’t see before. That’s when the “work” part of the process starts.
3. When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
Honestly, since I’ve become a full time author I don’t read fiction much anymore, but when I do read fiction in the last few years it always seems to be either paranormal romance (love Nalini Sinhg’s Psi series and Susannah Sandlin’s Penton Vampire Legacy series!) or YA – The Hunger Games series being the one that really grabbed me. I think I gravitate to these genres for the same reason I love to include paranormal elements in my novels – there’s something wonderful about the possibility that there are things in this universe that we aren’t aware of in our “real” lives. They all transport me not just to another time and place, but another reality with enough in common with this world to allow me to connect with the characters, but enough different that the conflicts are intriguing, the cultures are fascinating, and the solutions to problems are perhaps not what I would have thought of. They stretch my imagination and fuel my dreams. And if there’s some romance in there, too? Heaven!
4. If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
Wow, great question! I’ve never thought about co-authoring with anyone except my daughter, and that was a screenplay that we never finished. If I was coauthoring one of my Scottish romances I think it would be wonderful to work with my good friend Tanya Anne Crosby. We love the same things about the genre and she has such a great voice. I love her stories and she’s such a hard working, generous person, I know we’d have fun and we’d come up with something wonderful.
5. Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you ʺlater in lifeʺ?
Well these days “later in life” is relative. I came to writing with the idea of publishing something in my late 20s, but I was a dedicated journaler starting in high school, and then turned my writing urge to creating curriculum for computer classes, then technical writing, also computer related, and finally to novels, which seems obvious given my reading addiction from the moment I learned to read. I can’t imagine doing anything else anymore!
Thanks for asking great, thought provoking questions and hosting me today!
Laurin Wittig was indoctrinated into her Scottish heritage at birth when her parents chose her oddly spelled name from a plethora of Scottish family names. At ten, Laurin attended her first MacGregor clan gathering with her grandparents, and her first ceilidh (kay-lee), a Scottish party, where she danced to the bagpipes with the hereditary chieftain of the clan. At eleven, she visited Scotland for the first time and it has inhabited her imagination ever since. She writes bestselling and award-winning Scottish medieval romances and lives in southeastern Virginia. For more information about all of Laurin’s books, visit LaurinWittig.com