Monday, December 9, 2013

Highland Homecoming

Today's special guest is B.J. Scott. With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. A member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.


I am captivated by the backdrop in B.J.Scott's books, and I asked her why she wrote historical novels set in Scotland. Here is her response:

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today.

When it comes to romance novels, especially in the historical genre, the location and setting has a lot to do with reader appeal. People who enjoy romance novels are often looking for an escape from reality. They want to be whisked away to another place and time, somewhere mysterious, exciting, and different from their everyday life and surroundings. 

The vastness and beauty of the Scottish moors and Highlands, heather dotted glens, majestic mountains, imposing castles looming on the horizon, crystal clear streams and icy blue lochs provide the perfect backdrop for a historical romance filled with passion and adventure.  

But why Scotland and not another place in the world that has similar attributes? Part of the reason is that along with the setting, the Scottish heroes and heroines hold a special appeal. Blockbuster movies like Rob Roy and Braveheart, bestselling books and TV series of the 1990s and their depictions of epic events in Scottish history have not only left an image of Scotland in our mind. but of the Scottish hero. Tall, muscular, powerful, dangerously sexy men who fearlessly push the limits, and command respect, yet their dedication to clan, king and country show their honorable side. A man that can only be tamed by a feisty, intelligent, independent woman.

The covers of Scottish historical romance novels hold their own special appeal. Most are  bright and bold, boast a swoon-worthy, strapping hero with long hair, often bare-chested, and usually wearing a kilt—even though many Scottish romances are set in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, before kilts were worn. While some readers will pick up on that fact, most are enthralled by the dashing hero and very forgiving of the historical inaccuracy of the attire. Add a lovely lass staring longingly into her Highlander’s eyes and you can almost feel the heat emanating from the book.

Another reason for the attraction is the growing interest in history, ancestry and genealogy. Many American and Canadians can trace their roots back to the immigrants who flocked here from Scotland and Ireland during the 1700s and 1800s.

Be it the setting, the hero, or the fascination with Scottish history, Highlander books are popular with historical romance fans.


The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach in Northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tends to her injuries–an act that has him questioning his destiny and his plans to rejoin the fight for Scotland’s independence.

Will he drop the shield that guards his heart or will the secrets she fails to reveal and his own stubbornness keep them apart forever?


Northern Coast of Scotland. Summer 1308

Hooves pounded against rocks, surf, and sand as Alasdair Fraser pushed his mount beyond reasonable limits. Few things rivaled the thrill and exhilarating rush of mastering the powerful destrier between his thighs, controlling the magnificent beast with reins and will. The wind whipped through unbound hair and the tangy scent of the salty sea air filled Alasdair’s nostrils.

He’d ridden hard all afternoon, hoping to reach the stronghold of his longtime friend, Jayden Sinclair. But the sun had slipped below the horizon, the twilight sky ablaze with orange, red, and purple hues. Darkness would soon be upon him and he’d be forced to make camp for the night. He licked his parched lips and his stomach rumbled. Many hours had passed since he’d last eaten, but a hot meal and a tankard of ale would have to wait. Water, oatcakes, and a bit of dried venison would suffice until he reached his destination.

He dug in his heels, and the steed surged forward. The more distance they covered before nightfall, the shorter the journey would be on the morrow. But as they rounded a bend in the shoreline, Odin faltered, reared up on his hind legs, then began to dance nervously from side-to-side. The battle-hardened warhorse didn’t spook easily so Alasdair took heed of the animal’s uneasiness.

With one hand resting on the hilt of his sword, the other fisting the reins, he carefully surveyed the immediate area. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, yet the niggling of trepidation gnawing at his gut led him to believe there was something amiss. He nudged the horse’s flank and the pair advanced with caution.

They’d only traveled a short distance up the beach when the sight of something a few yards ahead at the water’s edge brought them to an abrupt halt. With his heart hammering in his chest, Alasdair cupped his hand over his brow and narrowed his eyes, trying to get a better look. The image came into focus and he could make out the unmistakable outline of a person sprawled out on the shore.

“What is it, Odin? Or, should I say, who is it?”

While this could be someone in need, it might also be a trap, an enemy or bandit lying in wait. Without hesitation, Alasdair slid from the saddle, pulled a claymore from the baldric slung on his back, and raced down the beach on foot. Stopping a few feet away, he sucked in a sharp breath.

“Mo chreach!”

He sheathed his weapon and took a step closer. A young woman, wearing nothing more than a thin nightrail, lay motionless in the sand, the waves of the incoming tide lapping at her bare feet.


B.J. will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card, Scottish shortbread cookies, can cooler and mouse pad (US/CANADA ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a beaded book thong with silver charms, book marks, pen, and canvas tote to a randomly drawn host (US/CANADA ONLY).
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Buy links

Highland Homecoming( book 3 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)

Highland Quest (book 2 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)

Highland Legacy: (book 1 of Fraser Brother Trilogy)