Monday, May 20, 2013

Highlander's Hope

Today's special guest is Collette Cameron. A life-long Oregonian, Collette was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.

Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and going on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc.

Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely! When she's not teaching or writing, she enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading.


Thank you for joining us at Book 'Em North Carolina today, Collette!

Thanks you so much for hosting me today!

What draws you to the setting of the United Kingdom and the Highlands in your book?

Perhaps it’s because I’ve visited the United Kingdom, or maybe it’s my Scottish ancestry…I’ve always adored anything related to the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras as well as historicals set in the highlands.

To me there’s something intrinsically romantic about England and Scotland. I can tap into the history, culture, and customs of the early 1800s as if they occurred yesterday. The Regency era was tumultuous, as was Scotland history around that same period. It was a time of tremendous transition and change, and the historian and idealist in me finds that very appealing.

Romance has grown to encompass everything from leaving the reader at the bedroom door to erotica. How would you describe your style, and how did you determine how far to go in your romantic scenes?

Regency is typically sweet … Highlander’s not so much.  Highlander’s Hope” is mildly sensual (My auntie wouldn’t agree!). I have compared the heat level to a zesty salsa with jalapeños. There’s a bit of zip to enhance the reading experience and make it exciting, but it’s not as bland as a green pepper (sweet) or as hot as a habanera (erotica).

Originally, there were several more intimate scenes, and they were more explicit then those in the final version. With an eye geared toward the typical Regency era reader, I toned down the heat level. I know there are those that would argue that to be a true Regency, everything should be left at the bedroom door, but a traditional Regency typically only takes place in England too.

With half the story playing out in Scotland, I allowed myself a bit of leeway and upgraded the sensuality.

I love the cover of your book. Do you have any input as to the cover design, or does your publisher handle all those details and surprise you?

I love the cover too!

I completed a cover-art form that allowed me to make suggestions about what I would like to see on the cover and what I didn’t want to see on it. I wanted a castle if possible, and I wanted something royal or cobalt blue because my branding is Blue Rose Romance. I also was a stickler that the cover models had to look like my characters.

They absolutely do!

I give all the credit to my cover designer for so closely matching the models to the character descriptions I gave her.

What advice would you give to new authors?

Create your best possible story. If you don’t have critique partners, get some. Educate yourself about the industry. Read books on writing craft, and attend workshops and classes. Learn the jargon. Brush up on your grammar and convention skills.

Learn to glean what you can to strengthen your craft from all of the above, but don’t feel like you have to mold yourself into a cookie-cutter writer.  Sure, you need to know what publishers are looking for in your genre (Do some reading!) but keep your voice your own.

There are a myriad of writing and author groups on social media. Connect with some of them. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn.

What's next for you?

I just contracted the second book in this trilogy, “The Viscount’s Vow” and I’m working on the final book, “The Earl’s Enticement.”

The Viscount’s Vow” is story about a half-Romani noblewoman and a viscount. Evangline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton could love—an immoral wanton responsible for his father’s and brother’s deaths. Vangie thinks Lord Warrick is a foul-tempered blackguard who deliberately set out to cause her downfall, and found himself snared in his own trap. 

The Earl’s Enticement” features Adaira (Addy) Ferguson, an outspoken Scottish aristocrat who cares more for horses than she does society’s conventions. She wears breeches, swears, and mistaking him for his blackguard brother, abducts Roark (Rory) Marquardt, The Earl of Clarendon. Both characters have secrets they’d rather stay in the past.

After the trilogy is done, I’ve a single title I want to write, and then a six book highland saga based on characters in my Blue Rose Trilogy.

Thanks again, for allowing be to be a guest today. This has been so fun!


Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, hasn't dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago. He's determined to win her heart and make her his own. Heiress, Yvette Stapleton, is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn't recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London's docks, but Lord Sethwick's passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, Ewan draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, "I do." Will Ewan's manipulation cost him her newfound love?   


Ewan jolted awake. “Merde.”

He had fallen asleep with Yvette in his arms. Shooting a worried glance at the window, he recognized the first golden blush of daybreak sweeping across the hazy sky.

Sucking in a strangled breath, he grasped the inexperienced hand fondling him. Blast it. The towel had come loose while he slept, of course.

“Yvette,” he whispered as she showered kisses across his bare chest and neck. Grasping her roaming hands, he ensnared her in his embrace, and raised his voice. “Yvette, wake up.”

He gave her a gentle shake. Dark lashes trembled, rising to reveal drowsy eyes. A smile lit her face when her gaze met his. She lifted her hand, caressing his face, her fingers lingering on his scar before she raised herself up and kissed the mark. Caught up in the powerful spell, he almost forgot himself. He fought the urge to throw reason to the wind and kiss her with all the desire he was holding in check. “Yvette. . .”

Ewan knew the moment she awoke. He felt her stiffen in his arms and heard her small cry of shocked dismay. She pressed at his chest with both hands. He released her and watched her scramble across the bed. She stopped in the middle, facing him. Her hair swirled around her, settling in shimmering waves about her hips.

Dawn’s glow lit the room. He could see her expressions. Shock—followed by confusion, then complete horror as she realized the full scope of her situation.


Collette will be awarding a gift basket that includes a 20.00 Amazon gift card, Cadbury Chocolates, Vintage-looking cameo pendant, Highlander's Hope bookmark, blue rose china teacup and demi-spoon, blue rose soaps, notepad--all assembled in an attractive vintage decor box to a randomly drawn commenter during the tours. 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Soul Mate Publishing Author's Blog: